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"The Annals of Criminal Jurisprudence exhibit human nature in a variety of positions, at 
once the most striking, interesting, and affecting. They present tragedies of real life, often 
heiglitened in their effect bythe grossnessof the injustice, and themalignity of the prejudices 
which accompanied them. At the same time real culprits, as original characters, stand 
forward on the canvas of humanity as prominent objects for our special study. I have 
often wondered that the English language contains no book like the Causes Celehres of the 
French, particularly as the openness of our proceedings renders the records more certain 
and accessible, while our public history and domestic conflicts have afforded so many splen- 
did examples of the unfortunate and the guilty. Such a collection, drawn from our own 
national sources, and varied by references to cases of the continental nations, would exhibit 
man as he is in action and principal, and not as he is usually dravro by poets and speculative 
philosophers." Burke. 



18 35. 

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1835, 

By E. L. Carey and ./?. Hart, 

in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. 




The following remarkable and deeply interesting trials have 
been collected from all the best sources which the public and 
private libraries of this country afford ; the volume embraces 
many recent cases furnished exclusively by the London Annual 
Register, and recourse has been had occasionally to manuscripts 
where printed documents could not be procured. 

It is believed that the collection supplies a striking deficiency 
in the library of the lawyer, physician, and general reader. 
Much care and caution have been exercised in the compilation, to 
make it not only an acceptable but a necessary adjunct to the 
books already accessible, and the reader is confidently referred 
to the table of contents for the evidence of the variety and value 
of the materials. 

Should this work meet with public approbation, it is the 
design of the publishers to issue other volumes in succession, for 
which the most ample matter has been accumulated ; to this end 
many distinguished jurists have voluntarily offered to contribute 
the most remarkable cases which have come under their observa- 
tion. The present may therefore be considered an avant courier 
of much that deeply concerns the American reader. No expense 
will be spared in completing a design having for its object the 
preservation of separate trials, which, by being scattered in every 
possible shape, are too often entirely lost, or of difficult access, 
though eminently curious and worthy of being preserved from 

^., It .would be unnece^iy to detain The r^er fiirtherNTiarJv^^i 
remark, that this collection wilT^hot only be useful to the" irfew^**'' 
\ beM^f the learned professions, the general reader, and to those 
whose misfortune it may be to fall under criminal prosecution, 
but in many instances it illustrates history ; and to quote an 
observation of an eminent practitioner at the bar, who says — 
* " Since it is observable that the best and bravest of mankind are 

far from being exempted from liability^'o criminal prosecutions, 
and that potent malice or prevailing faction have too often 
attempted the most consummate merit ; that learning which 
shows how life, honour, and innocence are to be defended, when 
they shall happen to be injuriously attacked, will not be con- 
sidered inferior to that which instructs us how to defend our less 
important rights." 



1. — ^John Thurtell and Joseph Hunt, for the Murder of William Ware, at 

Hertford, January, 1824 5 

3.— Henry Fauntleroy, Esq., for Forgery, at the Old Bailey, October 30, 1824. 19 

3. — Anna Schonleben (Germany), for Poisoning, 1808 33 

4.— John Doeke Rouvelett, for Forgery, 1806 37 

5. — John Holloway and Owen Haggerty, for the Murder of John Cole Steele, 

on Hounslow-heath, February 22, 1807 49 

6. — The unknown Murderer, or the Police at fault (Germany), 1817 43 

7.— Thomas Simmons, for Murder, October 20, 1807 57 

8. — Major Alexander Campbell, for the Murder of Captain Alexander Boyd, 

at Armagh, in a Duel, 1807 59 

9.— James Stuart, for the Murder of Sir Alexander Boswell, 1822 63 

lO.—Martha Alden, for Murder, 1807 70 

11. — Francis S. Riembauer, for Assassination, 1805 73 

12. — Eliza Penning, for an Attempt to poison Mr. Olibar Turner and Family, 

April 11,1815 82 

13. — William Jones, for Murder 90 

14._Abraham Thornton, for the Murder of Mary Ashford, 1817 97 

15. — Castaing, the Physician, for Murder, at Paris, November, 1817 106 

16, — John Donellan, Esq., for the Murder of Sir Theodosius Edward AUesly 

Boughton ; before the Hon. Sir Francis Buller, 1781 Ill 

17._Sir Walter Raleigh, for High-treason, in the reign of James I., A.D. 1602. 180 
18. — James O'Coigley, Arthur O'Connor, John Binns, John Allen, and Jere- 
miah Leary, for High-treason ; at Maidstone, 1798 210 

19.— Miss Ann Broadric, for the Murder of Mr. Errington, 1795 212 

20.— William Corder, for the Murder of Maria Marten, 1827 215 

2i._WilliamCodUn,for Scuttling a ship, 1802 225 

22. — Joseph Wall, for the Murder of Benjamin Armstrong, at Goree, 1802. . . 228 
23. — Vice-admiral Byng, for Neglect of Duty ; at a Court-martial, held on 

board his Majesty's Ship the St. George, in Portsmouth harbour, 1757. 235 
24. — Richard Savage, the poet, James Gregory, and William Merchant, for the 

Murderof James Sinclair, 1727 242 

25.— Admiral Keppel, for Neglect of Duty, July, 1778, at a Court-martial 246 

26.— Sir Hugh Palliser, Vice-admiral of the Blue, for Neglect of Duty, 1779. . 273 

27.— Sarah Metyard and Sarah M. Metyard, for Murder, 1768 280 

28. — John Bishop, Thomas Williams, and James May, for the Murder of 

Charles Ferriar, 1831 282 



29. — Sawney Cunningham, executed at Leith, 1635, for Murder 297 

30. — Sarah Malcohu, for the Murder of Ann Price, 1733 307 

31. — Joseph Baretti, for the Murder of Evan Morgan, 1769 321 

32.— Mungo Campbell, for Murder, 1721 324 

33. — Lucretia Chapman, for the Murder of William Chapman, late of Bucks 

County, Pennsylvania, 1832 32? 

34, — Lino Amalio Espos y Mina, for the murder of William Chapman, at the 

same Court, 1832 403 

^5. — John Hatfield, for Forgery, 1803 411 

36. — Trial by Combat, between Henry Plantagenet, duke of Hereford and 
Lancaster, and afterwards King of England by the title of Henry IV., 
and Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk, Earl-marshal of England, 1397. 415 

37. — Captain John Gow and others, for Piracy, 1729 418 

38.— William Burke and Helen McDougal, for Murder, 1828 424 

39. — Charles Macklin (the author), for the Murder of Thomas Hallam, May, 

1735 .". 441 

40. — Mary Young, alias Jenny Diver, for privately Stealing, 1740 443 

41. — George Henderson and Margaret Nisbet, for forging a Bill on the Dutchess 

of Gordon, 1 726 445 

42. — John Chisle, of Dairy, for the Murder of the Right Hon. Sir George Lock- 
hart, of Carnwith, Lord-president of the Court of Session, and Member 

of his Majesty's Privy Council, 1689 451 

43. — William Henry, Dulie of Cumberland, for Adultery with Lady Grosvenor, 

1770 453 

44. — "Robert and Daniel Perreau, for Forgery, 1775 459 

45. — Margaret Caroline Rudd, for Forgery, 1775 464 

46.— Henry White, Jr., for a Libel on the Duke of Cumberland, 1813 465 

47. — Philip Nicholson, for the Murder of Mr. and Mrs. Bonar, at Maidstone, 

1813 467 

48. — Mr. William Cobbett, for Libel, in the Court of King's Bench, 1810 474 

49. — John Bellingliam, Esq., for the Murder of the Right Hon. Spencer Perce- 
val, Chancellor of the Exchequer, in the Lobby of the House of Com- 
mons, May 11, 1811 481 

50. — Mary Stone, for Child Murder, preferred by her Sister, at Surrey Assizes, 

1817 488 

51. — Arthur Thistlewood, James Ings, and others, for High-treason, ai the 

Old Bailey, 1820 490 

52.— Thomas, Earl of Strafford, for High-treason, 1643 507 

Trial of the Rebels, in 1745 ; 

53. — Lords Kilmarnock, Cromartie, Balmerino, and Lovat 524 

54.— Charles Ratcliffe, Esq 529 

55. — Townley and Dawson 530 

56.— Fletcher and Syddall 531 

57. — Dr. Cameron 533 

58. — Rob Roy Macgregor, and other Macgregors, 1 700 to 1746 535 

59. — Alexis Petrowitz Czarowitz, presumptive Heir to the Crown of Russia, con- 
demned to Death bv his Father, 1715 542 



60.— Joseph Hunton, a Quaker, for Forgery, 1828 547 

His Execution 65 1 

6 1 . — Captain William Kidd, for Murder and Piracy, 1 70 1 553 

62.— Remarkable Case of Witchcraft, before Sir Matthew Hale, 1662 554 

63.— The Salein Witches 564 

Sufferers for pretended Witchcraft in Scotland: — 

64. — Alison Pearson 565 

65.— Janet Grant and Janet Clark, 1588 666 

66. — John Cunningham, 1590 ib. 

67. — Agnes Sampson, 1591 ib. 

68.— John Fien, 1591 558 

69.— Euphan M'Calzene, 1591 ib. 

70, — Patrick Lawrie, 1605 569 

71. — Margaret Wallace, 1620 ib. 

72.— Isobel Young, 1629 570 

73. — Alexander Hamilton, 1630 ib. 

74.— John Ne il, 1630 571 

75. — Janet Brown and others, 1640 ib, 

76. — The Samuelston Witches — Isobel Elliot, and nine other women, 1678, . , 573 

77. — Impostor of Barragan, 1696 ib, 

78. — Trial by Combat, between Sir John Annesley, Knight, and Thomas 

Katrington, Esq., 1380 575 

79. — James George Lisle, alias Major Semple, for Stealing, 1795 576 

80. — Queen Emma, Trial by Fire-ordeal 578 

81. — John Home Tooke, for High-treason, 1794 580 

82. — Joseph Thompson Hare, for Mail-robbery in Virginia, 1818 586 

83.— Richard Carlile, for a Libel, 1819 594 


84. — J onathan Bradford 587 

85. — James Crow 588 

86.-— John Jennings 589 

87. — Thomas Harris 591 

88.— William Shaw 593 




No case of secret murder ever perhaps created in England so great an inte- 
rest as this. It was so deliberately planned, and the parties, well known in 
certain circles, were of respectable connexions and good education. Thurtell 
was the unworthy son of an alderman of Norwicb ; Probert, one accomplice, 
lived genteelly, and was respectably connected ; and Hunt, a singer by profes- 
sion, seemed unlikely to engage in such atrocity. 

Thurtell was dressed in a plum-coloured frock coat, v^^ith a drab waistcoat 
and gilt buttons, and white corded breeches. His neck had a black stock on, 
which fitted as usual stiffly up to the bottom of the cheek and the end of the 
chin, and which therefore pushed forward the flesh on this part of the face 
so as to give an additionally sullen weight to the countenance. The lower part 
of the face was unusually large, muscular, and heavy, and appeared to hang 
like a load to the head, and to make it drop like the mastiff's jowl. The 
upper lip was long and large, and the mouth had a severe and dogged appear- 
ance. His nose was rather small for such a face, but it was not badly 
shaped : his eyes too were small and buried deep under his protruding 
forehead, so indeed as to defy detection of their colour. The forehead was 
extremely strong, bony, and knotted ; — and the eyebrows were forcibly 
marked, though irregular — that over the right eye being nearly straight, and 
that on the left turning up to a point, so as to give a very painful expression 
to the whole face. His hair was a good lightish brown, and not worn after 
any fashion. His frame was exceedingly well knit and athletic. 

The deceased was a man addicted to play, and connected with gaming^ 
houses. Thurtell had been his acquaintance, and in some practices of play, 
had been wronged by him of a large sum of money. The other prisoner. 
Hunt, was a public singer, and also known to VV'eare, but not in habits of 
friendship. Probert, who was admitted as an evidence, had been in trade as 
a spirit dealer, and rented a cottage in Giirs-hill-lane, situated in a by-lane, 
going out of the London road to St. Albans, and two or three miles beyond 
Elstree. Probert was himself much engaged in London, and his wife gene- 
rally resided at the cottage, which was fully occupied in the accommodation 
of Mrs. Probert, her sister, (Miss Noyes,) some children of Thomas Thur- 
tell's, (the prisoner's brother,) and a maid and boy servant. The deceased 
had been invited by John Thurtell, to this place, to partake a day or two's 
shooting; and he met the deceased at a billiard-room, kept by one Rexwor- 
thy, on the Thursday night previous to the murder, and they were joined there 
by Hunt. On the forenoon of Friday, October 24, the deceased was with 
Rexworthy at the same place, and said he was going for a day's shooting into 
the country. Weare went from the billiard-rooms, between three and four 
o'clock, to his chambers in Lyon's Lin, where he packed, in a green carpet 
bag, some clothes, and a change of linen. He also took with him a double- 
barrelled gun, and a backgammon board, dice, &c. He left his chambers in a 
hackney coach before four o'clock, and drove to th-: New-road, where he 
went out of the coach and returned after some time, accompanied by another 
person, and took his things away. 

In the morning two men, answering to the description of John Thurtell and 
A 2 5 



Hunt, went to a pawnbroker's in Mary-le-bone, and purchased a pair of pocket- 
pistols. And in the middle of the day, Hunt hired a gig, afterwards a horse, 
and procured a sack and cord. They met the same afternoon, at Tetsall's, in 
(Conduit-street, Thomas Thurtell and Noyes ; and Hunt was heard to ask Pro- 
bert, if he " would be in it," — meanino- what they (Hunt and .Tohn Thurtell) 
were about. Thurtell drove off from Tetsal's between four and five o'clock 
to take up a friend, as he said to Probert, " to be killed as he travelled with 
him ;" an expression which Probert said at the time he believed to have been 
a piece of idle bravado. He requested Probert to bring- down Hunt in his 
own gig. Probert, according to Thurtell's request, drove Hunt down in his 
gig, and, having a better horse, on the road they passed Thurtell and Weare 
in the gig. They stopped afterwards at a public-house to drink grog, and at 
Phillimore-lodge, Hunt got out, as he said, by Thurtell's desire, to wait 
for him. Probert from thence drove along to Gill's-hill cottage, in the 
lane near which he met Thurtell, on foot alone. He said he had done the 
business without his assistance, and had killed his inan, and, at his desire, 
Probert returned to bring Hunt to the spot. When Thurtell rebuked Hunt for 
his absence ; " Why, (said the latter,) you had the tools." — " They were 
no good," replied Thurtell ; " the pistols were no better than pop-guns. 1 
fired at his cheek, and it glanced off" — that Weare ran out of the gig, 
cried for mercy, and offered to return the money he had won of him — 
that he (Thurtell) pursued him up the lane when he jumped out of the gig. 
Finding the pistol unavailing, he atttempted to reach him b}^ cutting the pen- 
knife across his throat, and ultimately finished him by driving the barrel of 
the pistol into his head, and turning it in his brains, after he had penetrated 
the forehead. Five minutes after that period, certain persons, who happened 
to be in the road, distinctly heard the report of a gun or pistol, which was fol- 
lowed by voices as if in contention. Violent groans were next heard, which 
became fainter and fainter, then died away altogether. Thurtell arrived at 
about nine o'clock in the evening at Probert's cottage, having set off from 
Conduit-street at five o'clock ; and he arrived at the cottage, having in his 
possession the double-barrelled gun, the green carpet bag, and the backgam- 
mon-board, which Mr. Weare took with^ him. Neither Thurtell nor Hunt 
was expected by INIrs. Probert. With Thurtell she was acquainted; but 
Hunt was a stranger, and was formally introduced to her. They then supped 
on some pork chops, which Hunt had brought with him from London. They 
then went out, as Probert said, to visit Mr. NichoUs, a neighbour of his; but 
their real object was to go down to the place where the body of Weare was 
deposited. Thurtell took them to the spot down the lane, and the body was 
dragged through the hedge into the adjoining field. The body was then en- 
closed in the slick bought by Hunt. They then effectually rifled the deceased 
man, Thurtell having informed his companions, that he had, in the first in- 
stance, taken part of the property. They then went back to the cottage. 

Tn the course of the evening Thurtell produced a gold watch, without a 
chain, which occasioned several remarks. He also displayed a gold curb 
chain, which might be used for a watch, when doubled ; or, when singled, 
might be worn round a lady's neck. On producing the chain it was remark- 
ed that it was more fit for a lady than a gentleman ; on which Thurtell pressed 
it on Mrs. Probert, and made her accept it, by putting it round her neck. An 
offer was afterwards made that a bed should be given to Thurtell and Hunt, 
which was to be accomplished by Miss Noyes giving up her bed, and sleep- 
ing with the children. This was refused, Thurtell and Hunt observing that 
they would rather sit up. Something, however, occurred, which raised sus- 
picion in the mind of Mrs. Probert. In consequence she did not goto bed, 
or undress herself. She went to the window and looked out, and saw that 
Probert, Hunt, and Thurtell were in the garden. They went down to the 
body, and finding it too heavy to be removed, one of the horses was taken 
*'rom the stable. ° The body was then thrown across the horse ; and stones 

FOR MURDER. ' """ 2 

having been put into the sack, the body with the sack was thrown into the 
pond. Mrs. Probert distinctly saw something heavy drawn across the garden 
where Thurtell was, and her fears and suspicions being powerfully excited, she 
went down stairs and listened behind the parlour door. The parties now proceed- 
ed to share the booty ; to the amount of 6/. each. The purse, the pocket-book, 
and certain papers which might lead to detection, were carefully burned. They 
remained up late ; and Probert, when he went to bed, was surprised to find that 
his wife was not asleep. Hunt and Thurtell still continued to sit up in the par- 
lour. The next morning, as early as six o'clock. Hunt and Thurtell were both 
seen out, and in the lane together. Some men who were at work there observed 
them "grabbling" for something in the hedge. Thurtell observed, "that it 
was a very bad road, and that he had nearly been capsized there last night." 
Thinking something might have been lost on the spot, they searched after 
Hunt and Thurtell were gone. In one place, they found a quantity of blood, 
further on they discovered a bloody knife, and next they found a bloody pis- 
tol — one of the identical pair that were purchased by Hunt, and it bore marks 
of blood and brains. The spot was afterwards still further examined, and 
more blood was discovered, which had been concealed by branches and 
leaves, so that no doubt could be entertained that a murder had been commit- 
ted. On the following morning, Saturday, the 25th of October, Thurtell and 
Hunt left Probert's cottage in the gig which Hunt had come down in, carry- 
ing away with them the gun, the carpet bag, and the backgammon-board, 
belonging to Mr. Weare ; and these articles were taken to Hunt's lodgings, 
where they were afterwards found. When Hunt arrived in town on Saturday, 
he appeared to be unusually gay. He said, " We Turpin lads can do the 
trick. I am able to drink wine now, and I will drink nothing but wine." It 
was observed, that Thurtell's hands were very much scratched, and some 
remark having been made on the subject, he stated, " that they had been out 
netting partridges." 

On Sunday, John Thurtell, Thomas Thurtell, Noyes, and Hunt spent the 
day at Probert's cottage. Hunt went down dressed in a manner so very 
shabby as to excite observation. But in the course of the day he went up- 
stairs, and attired himself in very handsome clothes of the deceased, Mr. 
Weare. Probert wished the body to be removed from his pond, and Thurtell 
and Hunt promised to comedown on Monday, and remove it, which they did. 
Hunt engaged Mrs. Probert in conversation, while Thurtell and Probert took 
the body out of the pond, ]iut it into Thurtell's gig, and then gave notice to 
Hunt that the gig was ready. It appeared that the body was carried to a 
pond near Elstree, at a considerable distance from Probert's cottage, and there 
sunk, as it had before been in Probert's pond, in a sack containing a consider- 
able quantity of stones. The parties who heard the report of the pistol in the 
lane on the Friday evening, and the discovery of blood in the field, led, how- 
ever, to great alarm amongst the magistracy. Inquiry was set on foot, and 
Thurtell, Hunt, and Probert were at length apprehended. Strict inquiries 
were made by the magistrates, but nothing was ascertained to prove to a cer- 
tainty who was murdered. The body was, however, found on the Thursday, 
Hunt having confessed where it was deposited. As to Thurtell, it was clear 
that he was the perpetrator of the murder ; and with respect to Hunt and Pro- 
bert, it was equally clear that they were accessories before the fact, but 
Probert was admitted king's evidence, and Hunt's first confession, made 
under promise, saved his life. 

On the trial on the 7th of January, 1824, the officers and constables gave 
their accounts plainly and firmly, as gentlemen in their line generally do; 
and Mr. Ward, the surgeon of Watford, described the injuries of the deceased 
in a very intelligent manner. When Ruthven was called there was a great 
stir in the court, as it was known that he had in his possession several arti- 
cles of great interest. He took his place in the witness box, and in the course 
of his examination deposited on the table a pistol, and a pistol key, the knife, 


a muslin handkerchief spotted with blood, a shirt similarly stained ; and a 
waistcoat, into the pockets of which bloody hands had been thrust. A coat 
and a hat marked with blood were also produced. 'I'hese all belonged to 
Thurtell, but he looked at them with perfect indifference. Kuthven then 
produced several articles belonging to the deceased ; the gun, the carpet-bacr, 
and the clothes ; there was the shooting jacket, with the dog whistle hanging 
at the button hole, the half-dirty leggings, shooting shoes, and the linen; 
and even the sight of these things had no effect on either of the prisoners. 

Symmonds the constable, when sworn, took from his pocket a white folded 
paper, which he carefully undid, and produced to the court the pistol with 
which the murder had been committed. The pan was opened, as the firing 
had left it, and was smeared with tiie black of gunpowder and the dingy 
stain of blood. The barrel was bloody, and in the muzzle a piece of tow 
was thrust to keep in the murdered man's brains. Against the back of the 
pan were the short curled hairs of a silver sabled hue, which had been lite- 
rally dug from the man's head ; they were glued to the pan firmly with 
crusted blood ! This deadly and appalling instrument made all shudder, save 
the murderers, who, on the contrary, looked unconcernedly at it. 

Thomas Thurtell, when called, seemed affected — but his brother seemed 
calm. Miss Noyes was very plain and very flippant. Rexworthy, the 
billiard-table keeper, spoke of his dead friend with great decision ; but the 
brother of Weare was truly shocked, and his sincere grief exposed the art 
and trickery of many serious and hysterical witnesses. "The landlords," 
says an eyewitness, "were all thorough-bred landlords, sleek, sly, and rosy. 
The ostlers were ruilicr overtaken, all except he of the stable in Cross-street, 
who said all he knew clean out. Old .John Butler, of the Bald-faced Stao-, 
had steadied himself with heavy liquor, and he contrived to eject his evidence 
out of his smock frock with tolerable correctness. Dick Bingham, another 
hero of the ])itchfork, was quite undbguised., and he seemed to be confident 
and clear in proportion to the cordials and compounds." 

"Little Addis, Probert's boy, was a boy of uncommon quickness and 
pretty manner. He was a nice, ingenuous lad. When you saw his youth, 
his innocence, his pretty face and frankness, you shuddered to think of the 
characters he had associated with, and the scenes he had witnessed. His 
little artless foot had kicked up the bloody leaves; he had seen the stain 
fresh on the murderer's clothes, and his escape from death was miraculous." 
"The cook, Susan Woodroofe, had no prepossessing appearance. She 
had no great skill too in language: like Dan in .Tohn Bull, who when asked 
if he ever deviated, said — No ! — he always whidled .• — she, in speaking of the 
supper, when Mr. BoUand asked her if it was postponed! she replied — No ! 
it was pork /" 

.When Probert, the accomplice, was called, he W'as ushered through the 
dock into the body of the court. The most intense interest at his entering 
the witness box was evidently felt by all persons, in which indeed even 
the prisoners joined. Hunt stood up, and looked much agitated ; Thur- 
tell eyed the witness sternly and composedly. Probert did not seem the 
least ashamed of his situation, but stood firmly up to answer I\Ir. Gurney, 
who very solemnly prefaced his examination with charging him to tell the 
whole truth. The face of Probert was marked with deceit in every linea- 
ment. The eyes were like those of a vicious horse, and the lips were thick 
and sensual. His forehead receded villanously in amongst a bush of grizzly 
black hair — and his ears projected out of the like cover. His head and legs 
were too small for his body, and altogether he was an awkward, dastardly, 
and a wretched looking animal. He gave the following account with no hesi- 
tation or shame, and stood up against Mr. Andrews' exposure with a face of 
brass. Indeed, he seemed to fear nothing hut death or bodily pain : — 

I occupied a cottage in Gill's-hill-lane six months before October last; my 
family consisted of Mrs. Probert, her two sisters (Misses Noyes), part of the 


summer, a servant maid and a boy ; in the month of October, only one Misa 
Noyes lived with us. In October also I had some children of Thomas Thiir- 
tell's, two — none of my own. T. Thurlell is a brother of the prisoner's. I 
have been for some time past acquainted with the prisoner, John Thurtell ; 
he had been down to my cottage often, sporting with me ; he knew the road 
to my cottage, and all the roads thereabouts, well. Gill's-hill-lane, in which 
my cottage was, was out of the high road to St. Alban's, at Radlett ; my cot- 
tage was about a quarter of a mile from the high road. My regular way to 
the cottage would be to go along the high road through Radlett; there was 
a nearer way, but that was my usual way. My cottage was fourteen miles 
and a quarter from Tyburn turnpike. In the latter end of October, the week 
in which this happened, the prisoner, John Thurtell, lodged at Tetsall's, the 
Coach and Horses, in Conduit-street ; Thomas Thurtell lodged there also. 
They were there every day that week. On Friday the 24th, I dined at Tet- 
sall's with John Thurtell and Hunt ; Thomas Thurtell and Noyes were 
there also. After dinner Thurtell said something to me about money. Four 
days previous to the 24th, I borrowed £10 from John Thurtell; he then said, 
you must let me have it back on the Thursday or Friday ; on the Thursday 
I saw him at Mr. Tetsall's, and he asked me if I had got the £10 ; I told 
him I had not ; I had not collected any money. He said, I told you I should 
want it to-day or to-morrow, else it will be £300 out of my pocket ; but if 
you will let me have it to-morrow, it will answer the same purpose. On the 
next day (Friday) I paid him £5. I borrowed £5 of Mr. Tetsall ; that was 
after dinner. He then said, I think I shall go down to your cottage to-night ; 
are you going down] and asked me if I could drive Hunt down. I said, 
yes. He said, I expect a friend to meet me this evening a little after five, 
and if he comes I shall go down. If I have an opportunity, I mean to do 
him, for he is a man that has robbed me of several hundreds. He added, I 
have told Hunt where to stop. I shall want him about a mile and a half be- 
yond Elstree. If I should not go down, give Hunt a pound — which I did. 
Hunt had just come in, and Thurtell said, " there, Joe, there's a pound ; if Pro- 
bert don't come, hire a horse, you know where to stop for me." I do not 
know that Himt made any answer ; I gave him twenty shillings in silver; 
Thurtell left the Coach and Horses almost immediately, in a horse and 
chaise ; it was a gray horse ; I believe Hunt brought the horse and chaise ; 
Thurtell left a little after five. I afterwards set off to go in my own gig; I 
took Hunt with me. When I came to the middle of Oxford-street, Hunt got 
out of the gig to purchase a loin of pork, by my request, for supper. When 
we came to the top of Oxford-street, Hunt said, " This is the place Jack is 
to take up his friend at." In our way down, we overtook Thurtell, about 
four miles from London. Hunt said to me, "There they are; drive by, and 
take no notice." He added, " It's all right, Jack has got him." There 
were two persons in the gig — Thurtell and another ; I passed them and said 
nothing. I stopped at a public-house called the Bald-faced Stag, about 
seven miles from London, two miles short of Edgeware. It was then, per- 
haps, a quarter to seven. When Hunt said " It's all right," I asked him 
what was his name 1 Hunt replied, " You are not to know his name ; you 
never saw him ; you know nothing of him." I got out at the Bald-faced 
Stag ; I supplied the house with spirits. Hunt walked on, and said, " I'll 
not go in, because I have not returned the horse-cloths I borrowed." I 
stopped about twenty minutes; I then drove on, and overtook Hunt about a 
quarter of a mile from Edgeware. I took him up, and we drove to Mr. 
Clarke's, at Edgeware. We had a glass of brandy and water. I should 
think we did not stop ten minutes ; we went into the bar. We stopped a 
little further in Edgeware, and bought half a bushel of corn ; I was out of 
corn at home ; I put it in the gig. Hunt then said, " I wonder where Thur- 
tell, is ; he can't have passed us." We then drove on to the Artichoke, kept 
by Mr, Field. We got there within about eight minutes of eight. Neither 


I nor Hunt g-ot out. We had four or five g-lassos of brandy and water, 
waiting for the express purpose of Thurtell coming up ; we tliought we heard 
a horse and chaise, and started ; I think we stopped more than tiiree-quarters 
of an hour at Elstree. We went about a mile and a half, to Mr. Phillimore's 
Lodge, to wait for Thurtell. Hunt said, "I shall wait here for John Thur- 
tell," and he got out on the road. I drove on through Radlett, towards my 
own cottage ; when I came near my own cottage, within about a hundred 
yards, I met John Thurtell; he was on foot; he says, "Hallo! where's 
Hunt?" I said I had left him waiting near Phillimore's Lodge for him ; 
John Thurtell said to that, " Oh, I don't want him now, for I have done the 
trick ;" he said he had killed his friend that he had brought down with him ; 
he had ridded the country of a villain who had robbed him of three or four 
hundred pounds ! I said, " Good God ! I hope you have not killed the 
man V and he said, " It's of no consequence to you, you don't know him, 
nor you never saw him ; do you go hack and fetch Hunt, you know best 
where you left him." I returned to the place where 1 left Hunt, and found 
him near the spot where I left him. Thurtell did not go. I said to 
Hunt, when I took him up, " John Thurtell is at my house — he has killed 
his friend ;" and Hunt said, " Thank God, I am out of it; I am glad he has 
done it withoiit me ; 1 can't think where tbe devil he could pass ; I never 
saw him pass anywhere, but I am glad I am out of it." He said, "This is 
the place we were to have done it" (meaning near Pliillimore's Lodge) ; I 
asked him who the man was, and he said, " You don't know him, and I 
shall not tell you ;" he said it was a man that had robbed Jack of several 
hundred pounds, and they meant to have it back again; by that time I had 
reached my own house ; John Thurtell stood at the gate ; we drove into the 
yard ; Hunt says, "Thurtell, where could you pass me 1" Thurtell replied, 
"It don't matter where I passed you, I've done the trick — I have done it." 
Thurtell said, " What the devil did you let Probert stop drinking at his d — d 
public houses for, when you knew what was to be done V Hunt said, " I 
made sure you were behind, or else we should not have stopped." I then took 
the loin of pork into the kitchen, and gave it to the servant to cook for supper. 
I then went into the parlour, and introduced Hunt to Mrs. Probert ; he had 
never been there before. Thurtell followed immediately; we had stopped 
in the yard a little time before we went in. I returned to the parlour, and 
told Mrs. Probert we were going to Mr. Nichols' to get leave for a day's 
shooting; before we went out Thurtell took a sack and cord with him. We 
then went down the lane, I carried the lantern ; as we went along, Thurtell 
said, "I began to think. Hunt, you would not come." Hunt said, "We 
made sure you were behind." I walked foremost; Thurtell said, " Probert, 
he is just beyond the second turning." When he came to the second turning, 
he said, "It's a little farther on." He at length said, "This is the place." 
We then looked about for a pistol and a knife, but could not find either ; we 
got over the hedge, and there found the body lying; the head was bound up 
in a shawl, I think a red one (here the shawl already produced, was shown 
to witness) ; I can't say that is the shawl. Thurtell searched the deceased's 
pockets, and found a pocket-book containing three five pound notes, a memo- 
randum book, and some silver. John Thurtell said, "This is all he has got, 
I took the watch and purse when I killed him." The body was then put 
into a sack, head foremost; the sack came to the knees, and was tied with a 
cord ; it was the sack John Thurtell had taken out of the gig; we then left 
the body there, and went towards home. Thurtell said, " when I first shot 
him, he jumped out of the gig and ran like the devil, singing out that 'he 
would deliver all he had, if" I'd only spare his life.' " John Thiirtell said, 
" I jumped out of the gig and ran after him ; I got him down, and began to 
cut his throat, as I thought, close to the jugular vein, but I could not stop 
his singing out; I then jammed the pistol into his head; I gave it a turn 
round, and then I knew t had done him." He then said to Hunt, "Joe, you 


oucrht to have been with me, for I thought at one time he would have got the 
better of me. These d — d pistols are like spits, they are of no use." Hunt 
said, " I should have thought one of those pistols would have killed him 
dead, but you had plenty of tools with you ;" we then returned to the house 
and supped. In the course of the evening, after supper, .John Thurtell pro- 
duced a handsome gold watch ; I think double cased ; it had a gold chain 
attached to it. He took off the chain, and offered to make Mrs. Probert a 
present of it, saying it was more fit for a lady than a gentleman. Mrs. Pro- 
bert refused for some time, but at length accepted of it. He put the watch 
and seal in his pocket; we had no spare bed that night; I asked when they 
would go to bed. I said my sister would sleep with Thomas Thurtell's 
children, and that they could have her bed. They answered they would 
sleep on the sofa. Hunt sang two or three songs after supper; he is a pro- 
fessional singer. Mrs. Probert and Miss Noyes went to bed between twelve 
and one. When they were gone, John Thurtell took out a pocket-book^ 
purse, and a memorandum-book; the jiurse contained sovereigns; I cant 
say how many. He took £15 in notes from the pocket-hook, and gave Hunt 
and myself a £5 note and a sovereign each, saying — " That's your share of 
the blunt." There were several papers in the books ; they and the purse 
and books were burnt ; a carpet bag was opened. Thurtell said it had be- 
longed to the man he had murdered ; it contained wearinir apparel and shoot- 
ing materials ; they were examined and put in again ; I think two or three 
silk handkerchiefs were left out ; there was also a backgammon-board, con- 
taining dice and cards ; I also saw a double-barrelled gun ; it was taken out 
of a case and looked at; all the things were taken away next day, in a gig, 
by Thurtell and Hunt. After this, Thurtell said, " I mean to have Barber 
Beaumont and Woods;" Barber Beaumont is a director of a fire-ofhce with 
which John Thurtell had some dispute; Woods is a young man in London 
who keeps company with Miss Noyes. It was a general conversation, and. 
I cannot recollect the particulars ; he might have mentioned other names, but 
I can't recollect them. Thurtell said to Hunt, " We must now go out and 
fetch the bodj^ and put it in the pond." I said, " By G — d, you sha'n't put 
it in the pond, you'll ruin me else." There is a pond on my ground. Thur- 
tell said, " Had it not been for the mistake of Hunt, I should have killed him 
in the other lane, and returned to town and inquired of his friends why he 
had not come." First only Thurtell and Hunt went out ; when they came 
back, Hunt said, "Probert, he is too heavy, we can't carry him; we have 
only brought him a little way." Thurtell said, " Will you go with us"? I'll 
put the bridle on my horse and fetch him." I went out to the stable with 
him, and left Hunt waiting near the gate. Thurtell's horse was brought 
out, and Thurtell and I went down and brought the body on the horse; Hunt 
did not go with us. We took the body to Mr. Wardle's field, near my gate. 
Hunt took the horse back to the stable, and came back to the garden, and we 
dragged the body down the garden to the pond; we put some stones in the 
sack, and threw the body into the pond. 

The man's feet were perhaps half a foot above the water ; John Thurtell 
got a cord, threw it round the feet, and gave me the other end, and I dragged 
it into the centre of the pond, and it sunk. We all three returned to the cot- 
tage, and I went to bed almost immediately. I found my wife up; next 
morning, I came down about nine o'clock. Thurtell said, in presence of 
Hunt, that they had been down the lane to look for the pistol and knife, but 
neither could be found. They asked me to go down the lane and seek them, 
in the course of the day, which I promised to do. 

VA/hen I went down the lane, I saw a man at work near the spot, so I took 
no notice. That morning they went away after breakfast. On Sunday they 
came down again; and Thomas Thurtell and Mr. Noyes came also. Thomas 
Thurtell and Hunt came in a gig. Hunt broua-ht a new spade with him. He 
said it was to dig a grave for deceased that he brought it. Hunt returned 


with the gig after setting down Thomas Thurtell, and broiight John Thurtell 
and Mr. Noyes in the chaise. Hunt was very dirtily dressed when he came 
down, and went up-stairs to change. When he came down, he was well 
dressed — in almost new clothes. Hunt said the clothes belonged to the de- 
ceased ; he told me he had thrown a new spade over the hedge into my garden ; 
I saw it afterwards ; it was a new spade. John Thurtell and I walked to the 
pond. He asked me if the body had risen 1 I said no, and he said it would 
lay there for a month. In the afternoon, Hewart called, and I went with him 
to Mr. Nicholls's. 

On my return, I told Thurtell and Hunt that Mr. Nicholls had told me that 
some one had fired a pistol or gun off, in Gill's-hill-lane, on Friday night, and 
that there were cries of murder, as though some one had been killed. He said 
it was about eight o'clock, and added, " I suppose it was done by some of your 
friends to frighten each other." John Thurtell said, " Then I'm baked." I 
said, "I am afraid it's a bad job, as Mr. Nicholls seems to know all about it ; 
I am sorry it ever happened here, as I fear it will be my ruin." Thurtell said, 
" Never mind, Probert, they can do nothing with you." I said the body 
must be immediately taken out of my pond again. Thurtell said, " I'll tell 
you what I'll do, Probert ; after you are all gone to bed, Joe and I will take 
up the body and bury it." Hunt was present at this. I told them that 
would be as bad, if they buried it in the garden. John Thurtell said, " I'll 
bury him where you nor no one else can find him." As John Thurtell was 
going into the parlour. Hunt said, " Probert, they can do nothing with you or 
me, even if they do find it out, as we were neither of us at the murder." 
Thurtell and Hunt sat up all that night ; I, Noyes, and Thomas Thurtell 
went to bed. Thomas Thurtell slept with his children. In the morning, 
John Thurtell and Hunt said they went to dig a grave, but the dogs were 
barking all night, and they thought some one was about the ground. John 
Thurtell said, "Joe and I will come down to-night and take him quite away, 
and that will be better for you altogether." Thomas Thurtell and Hunt, and 
my boy, Addis, went away in one chaise after breakfast, and John Thurtell, 
Thomas Noyes, and Miss Noyes in another. The boy was sent to town to 
be out of the way. That evening, John Thurtell and Hunt came again in a 
gig about nine; they took supper; after supper John Thurtell and I went to 
the stable, leaving Hunt talking to Mrs. Probert. Thurtell said, "Come, 
let's get the body up ; while Hunt is talking to Mrs. Probert, she will not 
suspect." We went to the pond, and got the body up; we took it out of the 
sack, and cut the clothes all oft' it. We left the body naked on the grass, 
and returned to the parlour ; we then went to the stables, and John Thurtell 
went to his gig, and took out a new sack and some cord ; we all three return- 
ed to the pond, and put the body head-foremost into the sack ; we all three 
carried it to the lower garden gate ; we left Hunt waiting with the body, 
while Thurtell and I went round the pond. I carried the bundle of clothes, 
and threw it into the gig ; we then pat the horse too, and Thurtell said, "we 
had better leave the clothes here, Probert, there is not room for them." The 
clothes were left, and the body was put into the gig. I refused to assist them 
in settling the body in the gig. They went away. I, next morning, burnt 
some of the clothes, and threw the rest away in different places. I was 
taken into custody on the Tuesday evening after they went away. — 

Mrs. Prubert, his wife, gave her evidence drop by drop, and not then with- 
out great squeezing. Every dangerous question overcame her agitated nerves, 
and she very properly took time to recover before she answered. The 
following was the sum of her evidence ; — 

I remember the night of the 24th of October, when Mr. John Thurtell and 
]Mr. Huntcameto Gill's-hill Cottage, to have heard the sound of a gig passing 
my cottage. It was about eight o'clock, I think. The bell of our cottage 
was rung nearly an hour after. After that ringing nobody came into our 
house. My husband came home that night nearly at ten. I came down 

FOR MURDER. • -' - 13 

stairs, found Mr. Probert, John Thurtell, and a stranger in the parlour. My 
husband introduced that stranger, as Mr. Hunt, to me. I saw John Thurtell 
take out a gold chain, which he showed to me. It was a gold watch chain, 
with a great deal of work about it ; it was such a chain as this I think (the 
chain was shown her). He offered to make it a present to me ; I refused it 
for some time, and at last he gave it to me (she was shown the box and 
chain produced by the constable at Watford). I recollect giving the box and the 
chain to the constable, in the presence of the magistrates. When I and Miss 
Noyes went up-stairs, we left John Thurtell, Hunt, and Mr. Probert in the 
room. I did not go to bed immediately ; I went from my room to the stairs 
to listen ; I leaned over the banisters. What I heard in leaning over the ba- 
nisters was all in a whisper. What I heard at first was, I thought, about 
trying on clothes. The first I heard was, " This, I think, will fit you very 
well." I heard a noise like a rustling of papers on the table ; I heard also 
something like the noise of papers thrown into the fire. I afterwards went 
up to my own chamber. Out of doors I saw something ; I looked from my 
window, and saw two gentlemen go from the parlour to the stable ; they led 
a horse out of the stable, and opened the yard gate and let the horse out. 
Some time after that I heard something in the garden ; I heard something 
dragged, as it seemed, very heavily ; it appeared to come from the stable to 
the garden ; the garden is near the back gate ; it was dragged along the dark 
walk ; I had a view of it when they dragged it out of the dark walk ; it seem- 
ed very large and heavy ; it was in a sack. It was after this I heard the 
rustling of papers, and the conversation I have described. After the sack was 
dragged out of the dark walk, I had a view of it until it was half-way down the 
walk to the pond. I had a good view of it so far. After this I heard a noise 
like a heap of stones thrown into a pit; I can't describe it any other way; it 
was a hollow sound. I heard, besides what I have before mentioned, some 
further conversation. The first I heard was, I think. Hunt's voice; he said, 
" Let us take a £5 note each." I did not hear Thurtell say any thing; then 
— I am trying to recollect — I heard another voice say, " We must say there 
was a hare thrown up in the gig on the cushion — we must tell the boy so in 
the morning." I next heard a voice, I can't exactly say whose, " We had 
better be off to town by four or five o'clock in the morning ;" and then, I think, 
John Thurtell it was, who said, " We had better not go before eight or nine 
o'clock;" and the parlour door then shut. I heard John Thurtell say also (I 
think it was his voice), " Holding shall be next." I rather think it was 
Hunt who next spoke ; he asked, has he (Holding) got money ? John 
Thurtell replied, " It is not money I want, it is revenge ; it is," said John 
Thurtell, " Holding who has ruined my friend here." I did not at first 
understand who this friend was ; I believe it meant Mr. Probert, my hus- 
band ; I cannot say whether Holding had any thing to do in the transactions 
of my husband's bankruptcy. " It was Holding," said John Thurtell, " who 
ruined my friend here, and destroyed my peace of mind." My husband came 
to bed about half-past one or two o'clock, I believe it was; I did not know 
exactly the hour. — 

At the close of the evidence for the crown, although in answer to his lord- 
ship's inquiry, the jury decided on going through the case — they revoked that 
decision at the desire of John Thurtell, who strongly but respectfully pressed 
on their attention the long and harassing time he had stood at that bar ; and 
begged for a night's cessation to recruit his strength previous to his making 
his defence. Hunt said nothing : but Thurtell's manner was too earnest to 
admit of denial, and the court adjourned — an ofltcer having been sworn to 
keep the jury apart from a:ll persons. 

The court reassembled on the following morning, and the trial proceeded. 

Ruthven and Thomas Thurtell were called on some trifling points ; and in 
a short time Mr. Justice Park informed John Thurtell, that he was ready to 
hear any observations he had to make. Thurtell intimated in a murmur to 


Wilson, which Wilson interpreted to the court, that he wished his witnesses 
to be examined first, but this was refused, as being contrary to the practice. 

Thurtell now seemed to retire within himself for half a minute, — and then 
slowly, — the crowd being breathlessly silent and anxious, — drawing in his 
breath, gathering up his frame, and looking very steadfastly at the jury, he 
commenced his defence. He spoke in a deep, measured, and unshaken 
tone ; accompanying it with a rather studied and theatrical action : — 

My Lord, and Gentlemen of the Jury, — Under greater difficulties than ever 
man encountered, I now rise to vindicate my character and defend my life. 
I have been supported in this hour of trial, by the knowledge that my cause 
is heard before an enlightened tribunal, and that the free institutions of my 
country have placed my destiny in the hands of twelve men, who are unin- 
fluenced by prejudice, and unawed by power. I have been represented by 
the press, which carries its benefits or curses on rapid wings from one extre- 
mity of the kingdom to the other, as a man more depraved, more gratuitously 
and habitually profligate and cruel, than has ever a])peared in modern times. 
I have been held up to the world as the perpetrator of a murder, under cir- 
cumstances of greater aggravation, of more cruel and premeditated atrocity, 
than it ever before fell to the lot of man to have seen or heard of. I have 
been held forth to the world as a depraved, heartless, remorseless, prayerless 
villain, who had seduced my friend into a sequestered path, merely in order 
to despatch him with the greater security — as a snake who had crept into 
his bosom only to strike a sure blow — as a monster, who, after the perpetra- 
tion of a deed from which the hardest heart recoils with horror, and at which 
humanity stands aghast, washed away the remembrance of my guilt in the 
midst of riot and debauchery. You, gentlemen, must have read the details 
which have been daily, I may say hourly, published regarding me. It would 
be requiring more than the usual virtue of our nature to expect that you should 
entirely divest your minds of those feelings, I may say those creditable feel- 
ings, which such relations must have excited ; but I am satisfied, that as far 
as it is possible for men to enter into a grave investigation with minds unbi- 
assed, and judginents unimpaired, after the calumnies with which the public 
mind has been deluged — I say, I am satisfied, that with such minds and such 
judgments, you have this day assumed your sacred office. The horrible 
guilt which has been attributed to me, is such as could not have resulted 
from custom, but must have been the itinate principle of my infant mind, and 
have " grown with my growth, and strengthened with my strength." But 
I will call before you gentlemen whose characters are unimpeachable, and 
whose testimony must be above suspicion, who will tell you, that the time 
was when my bosom overflowed with all the kindly feelings; and even my 
failings were those of an improvident generosity and unsuspecting friendship. 
Beware then, gentlemen, of an anticipated verdict. Do not suffer the reports 
you have heard to influence your determination. Do not believe that a few 
short years can have reversed the course of nature, and converted the good 
feelings which I possessed into the spirit of malignant cruelty to which only 
demons can attain. A kind, afft'ctionate, and religious mother directed the 
tender steps of my infancy in the paths of piety and virtue. My rising 
youth was guided in the way that it should go by a father whose piety was 
universally known and believed — whose kindness and charity extended to all 
who came within the sphere of its influence. After leaving my paternal roof, 
I entered into the service of our late revered monarch, who was justly enti- 
tled the " father of his people." You will learn from some of my honoura- 
ble companions, that while I served under his colours, I never tarnished their 
lustre. The country which is dear to me I have served. I have fought for 
her. I have shed my blood for her. I feared not in the open field to shed 
the blood of her declared foes. But oh ! to suppose that on that account I was 
ready to raise the assassin's arm against my friend, and with that view 
to draw him into secret places for his destruction — it is monstrous, horrible, 


incredible. I have been represented to you as a man who was given to 
gambling, and the constant companion of gamblers. To this accusation, in 
some part, my heart with feeling penitence pleads guilty. I have gambled. 
I have been a gambler, but not for the last three years. During that time I 
have not attended or betted upon a horse-race, or a fight, or any public exhi- 
bition of that nature. If I have erred in these things, half of the nobility 
of the land have been my examples ; some of the most enlightened states- 
men of the country have been my companions in them. I have indeed been 
a gambler — I have been an unfortunate one. But whose fortune have I 
ruined? — whom undone? My own family have I ruined — I have undone 
myself! At this moment I feel the distress of my situation. But, gentle- 
men, let not this misfortune entice your verdict against me. Beware of your 
own feelings, when you are told by the highest authority, that the heart of 
man is deceitful above all things. Beware, gentlemen, of an anticipated 
verdict. It is the remark of a very sage and experienced writer of antiquity, 
that no man becomes wicked all at once. And with this, which I earnestly 
request you to bear in mind, I proceed to lay before you the whole career of 
my life. I will not tire you with tedious repetitions, but I will disclose 
enough of my past life to inform your judgments ; leaving it to your cle- 
mency to supply whatever little defects you may observe. You will con- 
sider my misfortunes, and the situation in which I stand — the deep anxiety 
that I must feel — the object for which I have to strive. You may suppose 
something of ail this ; but oh ! no pencil, though dipped in the lines of hea- 
ven, can portray my feelings at this crisis. Recollect, I again entreat you, 
my situation, and allow something for the workings of a mind little at ease; 
and pity and forgive the faults of my address. 

The conclusion of the late war, which threw its lustre upon the fortunes 
of the nation generally, threw a gloomy shade over mine. I entered into a 
mercantile life with feelings as kind, and with a heart as warm, as I had 
carried with me in the service. I took the commercial world as if it had 
been governed by the same regulations as the army. I looked upon the mer- 
chants as if they had been my mess-companions. In my transactions I had 
with them my purse was as open, my heart as warm, to answer their de- 
mands, as they had been to any former associates. I need not say that any 
fortune, however ample, would have been insufficient to meet such a course 
of conduct. I, of course, became the subject of a commission of bankruptcy. 
My solicitor, in whom I had foolishly confided as my most particular friend, 
I discovered, too late, to have been a traitor — a man who was foremost in the 
ranks of my bitterest enemies. But for that man, I should still have been 
enabled to regain a station in society, and I should have yet preserved the 
esteem of my friends, and, above all, my own self-respect. But how often is 
it seen that the avarice of one creditor destroys the clemency of all the rest, 
and for ever dissipates the fair prospects of the unfortunate debtor. With 
the kind assistance of Mr. Thomas Oliver Springfield, I obtained the signa- 
ture of all my creditors to a petition for superseding my bankruptcy. But 
just then, when I flattered myself that my ill fortune was about to close — 
that my blossoms were ripening — there came "a frost — a nipping frost." 
My chief creditor refused to sign unless he was paid a bonus of £300 upon 
his debt beyond all the other creditors. This demand was backed by the 
man who was at the time his and my solicitor. I spurned the oifer — I awak- 
ened his resentment. I was cast upon the world — my all disposed of — in 
the deepest distress. My brother afterwards availed himself of my misfor- 
tune, and entered into business. His warehouses were destroyed by the 
accident of a fire, as has been proved by the verdict of a jury on a trial at 
which the venerable judge now present presided. But that accident, unfor- 
tunate as it was, has been taken advantage of in order to insinuate that he 
was guilty of crime, because his property was destroyed by it, as will be 
proved by the verdict of an honest and upright jury in an action for conspi- 


racy, which will be tried ere long before the Chief Justice of the King's 
Bench. A conspiracy there was — but where 1 Why, in the acts of the 
prosecutor himself, Mr. Barber Beaumont, who was guilty of suborning wit- 
nesses, and who will be proved to have paid for false testimony. Yes; this 
professed friend of the aggrieved — this pretended prosecutor of public abuses 
— this self-appointed supporter of the laws, who panders to rebellion, and 
has had the audacity to raise its standard in the front of the royal palace — 
this man, who has just head enough to contrive crime, but not heart enough 
to feel its consequences — this is the real author of the conspiracy wiiich will 
shortly undergo legal investigation. To these particulars I have thought it 
necessary to call your attention, in language which you may think perhaps 
too warm — in terms not so measured, but that they may incur your reproof. 

" The flesh will quiver where the pincers tear, 
The blood will follow where the knife is driven. 

You have been told that I intended to decoy Woods to his destruction , 
and he has said that he saw me in the passage of the house. I can prove by 
honest witnesses, fellow-citizens of my native city of Norvvich^hat I was 
/here at that time ; but, for the sake of an amiable and innocent Rmale, who 
might be injured, I grant to Mr. Woods the mercy of my silence. When 
before this, did it ever fall to the lot of any subject to be borne down by the 
weight of calumny and obloquy which now oppresses me 1 The press, which 
ought to be tlic shield of public liberty, theavenger of public wrongs — which, 
above all, should have exerted itself to preserve the purity of its favourite 
institution, the trial by jury — has directed its whole force to my injury and 
prejudice; it has heaped slander upon slander, and whetted the public 
appetite for slanders more atrocious ; nay, more, what in other men would 
serve to refute and repel the shaft of calumny, is made to stain with a deeper 
dye the villanies ascribed to me. One would have thought, that some time 
spent in the service of my country would have entitled me to some favour 
from the public under a charge of this nature. But no ; in my case the order 
of things is changed — nature is reversed. The acts of times long since past 
liave been made to cast a deeper shadow over the acts attributed to me within 
the last few days ; and the pursuit of a profession, hitherto held honourable 
among honourable men, has been turned to the advantage of the accusation 
against me. You have been told that after the battle, I boasted of my inhu- 
manity to a vanquished, yielding, wounded enemy — that I made a wanton 
sacrifice of my bleeding and supplicating foe, by striking him to the earth 
with my cowardly steel ; and that, after this deed of blood, I coldly sat down 
to plunder my unhappy victim. Nay, more — that with folly indescribable 
and incredible, I boasted of my barbarity as of a victory. Is there an English 
officer, is there an English soldier, or an Englishman, whose heart would not 
have revolted with hatred against such baseness and folly 1 Far better, gentle- 
men, would it have been for me, rather than have seen this day, to have fallen 
with my honourable companions, stemming and opposing the tide of battle upon 
the field of my country's glory. Then my father and my family, though they 
would have mourned my loss, would have blessed my name, and shame would 
not have rolled its burning fires over my memory ! Before I recur to the evi- 
dence brought against my life, I wish to return my most sincere thanks to the 
high sheriff' and the magistrates for their kindness shown to me. I cannot but 
express my unfeigned regret at a slight misunderstanding which has occurred 
between the Rev. Mr. Lloyd, the visiting magistrate, and my solicitor. As 
it was nothing more than a misunderstanding, I trust the bonds of friendship 
are again ratified between us all. My most particular gratitude is due to the 
Rev. Mr. Franklin, whose kind visits and pious consolations have inspired 
me with a deeper sense of the awful truths of religion, and have trebly armed 
my breast with fortitude to serve me on this day. Though last, not least 
— let me not forget Mr. Wilson, the governor of the prison, and the fatherly 


treatment which he has shown me throug-hout. My memory must perish ere 
I can foraret his kindness. My heart must be cold ere it can cease to beat 
with gratitude to him, and wishes for the prosperity of his family. 


Here the prisoner read a long written comment on the weaker parts of the 
evidence ; — the stronger and indeed the decisive parts he left untouched. 
This paper was either so ill-written, or Thurtell was so imperfect a reader, that 
the effect was quite fatal to the previous flowery appeal to the jury. He stam- 
mered, blundered, and seemed confused throughout. When he finished his 
book, and laid aside the paper, he seemed to return with joy and strength to 
his memory, and to muster up all his might for the peroration. 

"And now, gentlemen, having read those cases to you, am not I jus- 
tified in saying, that unless you are thoroughly convinced that the circum- 
stances before you are absolutely inconsistent with my innocence, I have a 
claim to your verdict of acquittal ] Am I not justified in saying, that you 
might come to the conclusion that all the circumstances stated might be true, 
and yet I be innocent] I am sure, gentlemen, you will banish from your 
minds any prejudice which may have been excited against me, and act upon 
the principle that every man is to be deemed innocent until he is proved 
guilty. Judge of my case, gentlemen, with mature consideration, and remem- 
ber that my existence depends upon your breath. If you bring in a verdict 
of guilty, the law afterwards allows no mercy. If, upon a due consideration 
of all the circumstances, you shall have a doubt, the law orders, and your own 
consciences will teach you to give me the benefit of it. Cut me not off in the 
summer of my life ! I implore you, gentlemen, to give my case your utmost 
attention. I ask not so much for myself as for those respectable parents 
whose name I bear, and who must suffer in my fate. I ask it for the sake 
of that home which will be rendered cheerless and desolate by my death. 
Gentlemen, I am incapable of any dishonourable action. Those who know 
me best know that I am utterly incapable of an unjust and dishonourable 
action, much less of the horrid crime with which I am now charged. There 
is not, I think, one in this court who does not think me innocent of the charge. 
If there be — to him or to them, I say in the language of the apostle, ' Would 
to God ye were altogether such as I am, save these bonds.' Gentlemen, 
I have now done. I look with confidence to your decision. I repose in your 
hands all that is dear to the gentleman and the man ! I have poured my 
heart before you as to my God ! I hope your verdict this day will be such 
as you may ever after be able to think upon with a composed conscience ; 
and that you will also reflect upon the solemn declaration which I now make — 

I — am — innocent ! — So — help — me God !" 

The solid, slow, and appalling tone in which he wrung out these last words 
can never be imagined by those who were not auditors of it : he had worked 
himself up into a great actor — and his eye for the first time during the trial 
became alive and eloquent ; his attitude was impressive in the extreme. He 
clung to every separate word with an earnestness which cannot be described, 
as though every syllable had the power to buoy up his sinking life, and that 
these were the last sounds that were ever to be sent into the ears of those 
who were to decree his doom ! The final word, God ! was thrown up with 
an almost gigantic energy ; and he stood after its utterance with his arms 
extended, his face protruded, and his chest dilated, as if the spell of the 
sound were yet upon him, and as though he dared not move lest he should 
disturb the still echoing appeal ! He then drew his hands slowly back, 
pressed them firmly to his breast, and sat down, half-exhausted, in the dock. 
When he ftrst commenced his defence, he spoke in a steady artificial man- 
ner, after the style of forum orators ; but as he warmed in the subject, ana 
felt his ground with the jury, he became more unaffectedly earnest and 
naturally solemn; and his mention of his mother's love and his father's piety 
drew the tear up to his eyes almost to falling. He paused ; and though 
B 2 3 



pressed by the judge to rest, to sit down, to desist, he stood up resolute 
against his feelings, and finally, with one vast gulp, swallowed down his 
tears ! He wrestled with grief, and threw it ! When speaking of Barber 
Beaumont, the tiger indeed came over him, and liis very voice seemed to 
escape out of his keeping. There was such a savage vehemence in his whole 
look and manner, as quite to awe his hearers. With an unfortunate quotation 
from a play, in which he long had acted too bitterly, — the Revenge ! he 
soothed his maddened heart to quietness, and again resumed his defence, 
and for a few minutes in a doubly artificial serenity. The tone in which he 
wished that he had died in battle, resembled Othello's farewell to the pomp 
of war; and the following consequences of such a death, was as grandly 
delivered by Thurtell as it Avas possible to be ! " Then my father and my 
family, though they would have mourned my loss, would have blessed my 
name; and shame tooiild not have rolled its bunding fires over my memory !'''' 
Such a performance, for a studied performance it assuredly was, has seldom 
been seen on the stage, and certainly never off. Thus to act in the very teeth 
of death, demands a nerve, which not one man in a thousand ever possesses. 

When Hunt was called upon for his defence, his feeble voice and shrinking 
manner were doubly apparent, from the overwrought energy which his com- 
panion had manifested. He complained of his agitation and fatigue, and 
requested that a paper which he held in his hand might be read for him ; 
and the clerk of the arraigns read it according to his request in a very feelinor 
manner. It was prudently and advisedly composed by Mr. Harmer. Reli- 
ance was placed on the magistrates' promise. When the paper was con- 
cluded, Hunt read a few words on a part of Probert's evidence, in a poor 
dejected voice, and then leant his head upon his hand. He was evidently 
wasting away minute by minute. His neck-cloth had got quite loose, and his 
neck looked gaunt and wretched. 

Mr. Justice Park summed up at great length, and Thurtell, with an untired 
spirit, superintended the whole explanation of the evidence; interrupting the 
judge respectfully but firmly, when he apprehended any omission, or con- 
ceived any amendment capable of being made. The charge to the jury oc- 
cupied several hours ; and the jury then requested leave to withdraw. Hunt 
at this period became much agitated, and as he saw them about to quit the 
box, he entreated leave to address them ; but on his counsel learning and com- 
municating to the judge what the prisoner had to say, the jury were directed 
to proceed to the consideration of their verdict. 

During their absence Thurtell conversed unalarmed with persons beneath 
and around him : Hunt stood up in the deepest misery and weakness. Twenty 
minutes elapsed ; and the return of the jury was announced. 

W^hilst way was making through the throng. Hunt leant over the dock, and 
searched with an agonized eye for the faces of his dooms-men! As they, one 
by one, passed beneath him, he looked at their countenances with the most 
hungry agony : he would have devoured their verdict from their very eyes ! 
Thurtell maintained his steadiness. 

The foreman delivered the verdict of Guilty, in tears, and in a tone which 
seemed to say, " We have felt the defence — we have tried to find him inno- 
cent — but the evidence is too true !" — respecting Thurtell, he uttered with a 
subdued sigh, he is guilty. 

Thurtell shook not to the last : Hunt was broken down — gone! When 
asked why sentence of death should not be passed, the latter said nothing, 
so sunk was he in grief; but Thurtell stood respectfully up, inclining over 
the dock towards the judge, requesting his merciful postponement of his 
death from the Friday to Monday ; not for himself, but for his friends ! 
Having pressed this on the judge in a calm yet impressive tone, he stood 
silently waiting his doom. 

The judge had put on his black hat — the hat of death — before this appeal ; he 
heard it, and then gave the signal to the crier; Avho spoke out to the breath- 


less court, those formal yet awful words : " Be silent in the court while sen- 
tefice of death is passed upon the prisoners .'" His own voice being the only 
sound that broke the silence. 

The sentence was passed. The prisoners were doomed. The world was 
no longer for them ! 

Hunt sobbed aloud in the wild ness of his distress; his faculties seemed 
thrown down, Thurtell, whose hours were numbered, bore his fate with an 
unbroken spirit. While the very directions for his body's dissection were 
being uttered, he consumed the pinch of snuff which had to that moment 
been pausing in his fingers ! He then shook hands with a friend under the 
dock, and desired to be remembered to others ! Almost immediately the 
sentence was passed, Wilson handcuffed both the prisoners; and in a few 
minutes they were removed. 

I confess, says an eyewitness, I myself was shaken. I was cold and sick. 
I looked with tumultuous feelings at that desperate man, thus meeting death 
as though it were an ordinary circumstance of his life ; and when he went 
through the dark door, he seemed to me gone to his fate. It struck me that 
death then took him ! I never saw him more. 

Thurtell on the drop met his death, as he met his trial, without a tremor. 
His life had been one long scene of vice, but he had iron nerves and a sullen 
low love of fame, — even black fame, — which stimulated him to be a hero, 
though but of the gallows. He had learned his defence by heart, and often 
boasted of the effect it would have, 

I know it to be a fact, says the eyewitness already quoted, that Thurtell 
said about seven hours before his execution, " It is perhaps wrong in my 
situation, but I own I should like to read Pierce Egan's account of the great 
fight yesterday" (meaning that between Spring and Langan), having just 
inquired how it terminated. 

Thurtell was executed at Hertford, January the 9th ; but Hunt, in conse- 
quence of the pledge made before his confession, was sent to the Hulks at 
Woolwich, and afterwards to New South Wales. 



At ten o'clock Mr. Justice Park and Mr. Baron Garrow took their seats 
on the bench, accompanied by the lord mayor. The attorney-general en- 
tered the court at the same time, and took his seat at the table, next Mr. 
Freshfield, the bank solicitor. 

At five minutes past ten o'clock Mr. Henry Fauntleroy was conducted to 
the bar, between the two city marshals, the head turnkey of Newgate, and 
accompanied by Mr. Harmer, his solicitor. He was dressed in a full suit of 
black, and the firmness which he displayed in the morning seemed for the 
moment to have deserted him, when he was exposed at the bar to the gaze 
of the court. His step was tremulous ; his face pale, and much thinner than 
when he was first examined at Marlborough-street ; his gray hair had rather 
a lighter hue, as if from the mixture of a little powder; he never for a mo- 
ment raised his head ; but, placing his hands upon the front of the dock, 
stood with dejected mien while the preliminary forms of the trial were 

The deputy clerk of the arraigns opened the business by addressing the 
prisoner at the bar in the usual form, and arraigning him upon seven different 
indictments for forgery, in the following manner, the first : 


Henry Fauntleroy — you stand indicted for that you on the 1st of June, in 
the 55th year of the late king, in the parish of St. Mary-la-Bonne, did felo- 
niously and falsely make and forge, and counterfeit a certain deed, purporting 
to bear the name of Frances Younor, for the transfer of £5 150 long annuities 
of her moneys in the stocks established by the act of the 5th of the late king 
George II., with intent to defraud the said Frances Young of the said stock. 

A second count laid the crime, as with intent to defraud the Governor and 
Company of the Bank of England. 

A third count laid the indictment, as for causing the said instrument to 
be forged. 

A fourth count, for feloniously uttering and disposing of the said instru- 
ment, knowing it to be forged ; and there were three other counts, varying 
the mode of specifying the charge, according to the technical subtleties of 
pleading. When this abstract of the first indictment was read, 

The deputy clerk of the arraigns asked the prisoner, " Henry Fauntleroy, 
how say you — are you guilty or not guilty of the said felony ?" 

The prisoner, in a faint voice, replied. Not Guilty. 

The deputy clerk. How will you be tried ? — The prisoner, still in the 
same low tone of voice, and prompted by the Governor of Newgate, answer- 
ed, by God and my country. 

The prisoner was then successively arraigned on the following six indict- 
ments : — the second, for that he, on the 3d of June, in the 55th year of the 
late king, in the parish of St. Mary-la-Bonne, did fulsely forge and counter- 
feit, and cause to be falsely forged and counterfeited, a certain transfer, pur- 
porting to be that of Frances Young, for £5000 of her annuities, with intent 
to defraud her. The forgery and fraud were also laid, as in the first indict- 
ment, as with intent to defraud the Governor and Company of the Bank of 
England. There were counts also for the wilful uttering and disposing of 
the same, with a variation of the names alleged to be defrauded. 

The third indictment, which was laid in the same technical form as the pre- 
ceding, was for forging the transfer of the stock held in the name of T. Lister, 
Esq. of Wexford, in Ireland, and uttering the same. 

The fourth indictment was for forging a transfer of £3000 stock, also utter- 
ed in the same name as the foregoing, on the 16th of December, in the 60th 
year of the late king's reign. 

The fifth indictment was for forging the transfer of £435 stock, to defraud 
the bank and John Grifiiths, on the 30th of June, in the fourth year of the pre- 
sent king's reign. 

The sixth indictment was for on the same date forging and putting away a 
transfer of £500 stock held in the same name; and the seventh indictment 
was for forging and uttering, on the 2d November last, a power of attorney 
to transfer £5300 annuities, entered in the name of Jacob Tubbs. 

To each of these seven indictments the prisoner, in the same subdued tone 
of voice, and without raising his eyes from the bar, pleaded Not Guilty, and 
put himself for trial upon God and his country. 

The reading of these indictments occupied the court twenty-five minutes. 
Towards the close of the reading, 

Mr. CJurney rose, and applied to the court for permission to have the pri- 
soner accommodated with a chair at the bar. 

Mr. Jitfiiice Park, The application is, of course, made on the ground of the 
prisoner's indisposition. 

Mr. Gurney. Certainly, my lord. 

Mr. Justice Park. O, then, let him have a chair. 

A chair was immediately handed to the ])risoner, who sat upon it at the 
right hand corner of the dock, leaning his head upon his hand, and covering 
the greater part of his face with a white handkerchief, his whole demeanour 
being at this time that of a person labouring under deep despondency. 

The attorney-general then rose, and stated the case for the prosecution as 

FOR FORGERY. ' '^* 21 

follows : — " May it please you, my lords and gentlemen of the jury, — You 
have heard during the reading of this indictment, that the prisoner at the bar 
stands charged with fraudulently forging and uttering a certain power of at- 
torney for the transfer of certain stock entered in the Bank of England in the 
name of Miss Frances Young. It is my duty, on the part of the prosecution, 
to state to you the circumstances out of which, according to my instructions, 
the present prosecution has sprung; and afterwards to lay before you the 
evidence which T have to offer in support of this indictment. 

" The prisoner at the bar, gentlemen, was well known as a partner in the 
banking-house of Marsh, Sibald, and Co., of Berner's-street, which was 
established about thirty years ago. His father was a partner in the original 
firm — he had previously been an active clerk in a banking-house in the city, 
and the partners who established the firm, not being equally men of business 
themselves, gave him a share to avail themselves of his practical in- 
formation in the management of their affairs. The elder Mr. Fauntleroy 
died in the year 1807, and his situation was immediately occupied by his 
son, the prisoner at the bar, upon whom, also, for his practical knowledge of 
business, and the comparative superiority which he had in this respect over his 
co-partners, nearly the whole of the actual business devolved. In the year 
1815, Miss Frances Young, of Chichester, became a customer to the firm, and 
had then entered in her name, at the bank, the sum of £5450 in what were 
called the three per cent, consuls. She gave the firm of Marsh and Co. a 
power of attorney to receive the dividends in her name, but gave them no 
power whatever to sell or otherwise dispose of the principal. In May, 1815, 
however, an application was made at the bank, and represented as having 
been so made in behalf of this lady, to sell, by her power of attorney, £5000 
of this stock. 

"You are probably aware of the forms prescribed by the Bank of England 
in transacting the business of these transfers. The applicant goes to the 
bank, and obtains a slip of paper, which he fills up with the name of the 
party in whose behalf he applies, he describes the stock in the bank, the 
amount and particulars required to be transferred, and the name and address 
of the person to whom the transfer is to be made. Upon receiving these in- 
structions in the form inserted upon the slip of paper, the bank clerk, to whom 
it is delivered, hands over a power of attorney, which is to be transmitted 
to the person who is to make the transfer, for the purpose of receiving 
the requisite signature. It is customary at the bank to preserve these 
slips of paper, but in this instance the particular slip has been lost, and 
it cannot therefore be said to whom it was delivered, it being usual to 
endorse the name of the party on the slip. But the power of attorney, which 
was prepared according to the slip so made is referred, with the necessary 
attestations of the witnesses. There must be to these powers of attorney two 
attesting witnesses, with the description of their respective names and ad- 
dresses. This power of attorney purported to be signed by Frances Young, 
and that signature would be proved to be a forgery. The attesting witnesses 
were John Watson and James Tyson, clerks in the bank of Marsh and Co., 
and their signatures were also forgeries ; for they never transacted any busi- 
ness with Miss Frances Young, and never executed any transfer of stock for 
her. In all these documents it is required by the bank that the date shall be 
set forth in words at length. This is so done in this forged transfer, and it will 
be proved to be in the handwriting of the prisoner at the bar in all its parts. 

"It must be quite clear, therefore, that the forgery has been committed 
either by the prisoner, or with his knowledge. The attesting witnesses are 
his clerks, men whose handwriting must have been known to him, and a 
forgery of which he must at once have detected if brought to him by a third 
party. The practice at the Bank of England was, that when these transfers, 
after being duly filled, were executed, they must be deposited for twenty-four 
hours with the clerk, for the purpose of being compared with the books, and 



for such other inspection and precaution as were deemed necessary on these 
occasions for the security of properly, so far as time and circumstances al- 
lowed. After all these preliminary steps, the applicant was further called 
upon, before the instrument was completed, to write at the bottom these 
words : ' I demand this power to be executed in my name,' signed by the 
party. On the 31st of May, or the 1st of June, the prisoner at the bar 
attended in person at the bank, and demanded in due form the execution of 
the said power of attorney. So that here you will have before you a power 
of attorney prepared in the prisoner's handwriting, purporting- to be executed 
by Frances Young, purporting to be attested b^y two of his clerks, with 
whose handwriting, I repeat, he must have been necessarily acquainted ; and 
he himself presenting the instrument, and demanding that it be executed in 
the usual manner. But sufficient as this would be to prove the case, it is not 
all, for I am about to state to you that we have besides a document of a cha- 
racter so extraordinary, so singularly complete in all its parts, as to leave no 
possible doubt that the prisoner at the bar was the parly who had committed 
the oifence. When the prisoner was taken into custody in his own counting 
house, he, in the presence of the officer, locked his private desk, with a key 
which was then attached to his watch ; that key was afterwards taken from 
him by the officer ; and when the respectable solicitor for the bank, who 
conducts this prosecution, went to search the house in Berner's-street, for the 
prisoner's papers, to ascertain whatever particulars he could therein find 
respecting these transactions, he found in one of the rooms of Messrs. Marsh 
and Co.'s bank, in which tin cases, containing title deeds of their customers, 
were deposited, and on which the names of the owners were inscribed, one 
tin box without a name. This led him to examine it. The key was found in 
the prisoner's private desk, which he had himself locked in the presence of 
the officer, and on opening this box was found a number of private papers 
belonging to the prisoner, and among them the extraordinary document of 
which I have apprized you, and which ran thus, all in the handwriting of 
the prisoner : — 

'" Consols, 11,151/. standing in the name of my trusteeship ,- 3000/. E. W. 
Young f 6000/. Consols, General Young,- 5000/. Long Annuities, Frances 
Young ; another 6000/.,- Lady Nelson, 11,595/.,- Mrs. Ferrer, 20,000/. 4 per 
cents. ; Earl of Ossory, 7000/'. ,• T. Owen, 9 100/. ,- /. W. Parkins, 4000/. ,• 
Lord Moyne, 6000/./ P. Moore ait d John Marsh, 21,000.' This paper con- 
tained a total of sums considerably exceeding 100,000/., was all written in 
the prisoner's handwriting, and these words, in the same hand, followed, 
and concluded the facts of the prisoner's guilt. — ' hi order to keep tip the credit 
of our house, I have forged powers of attorney, and have thereupon sold out all 
these sums, without the knowledge of any of my partners. I have given credit 
in the accounts for the interest when it became due. 

'■'■ May 7fh, 1816. Signed, Henry Fau7itleroy.'' 

" These words followed : — 

" ' The bank began first to refuse our acceptances, and thereby to destroy the 
credit of our house, they shall therefore smart for it.^ 

"This is the extraordinary document to which I allude, and was there ever 
a record of a fraud more intelligible, and yet more negligently kept? There 
is no doubt, 1 think, that when the prisoner at the bar drew up this singular 
and conclusive document, that he contemplated some intention for which it 
was applicable, perhaps to abscond, and protect his partners from any suspi- 
cion or participation in his acts. Be the intention, however, what it may, if 
to abscond, it was clear the prisoner had subsequently altered his intention; 
and at all events, nothing but unaccountable negligence could have prevented 
him from afterwards destroying a document of such a nature, and so fatal to 
his character. The Bank of England, in consequence of this information, 
proceeded to examine the private accounts kept by the prisoner with his firm; 
and they there found that the accounts of the parties, whose moneys were 

FOR FORGERY. .-' 23 

fraudulently transferred, were regularly kept up, and the interest upon the 
dividends as regularly carried to them every half year, as if the original stock 
remained in being. In the particular case before you, the broker (Mr. Spur- 
ling), employed by the prisoner at the bar, sold out the stock in question to 
the amount of £2950 2s. Gd. that is, exclusive of the commission for the 
sale, which, according tc practice, the broker divided with the firm. This 
amount was paid over by the broker to tlie banking-house of Messrs. Marten 
and Co., who transacted business for Messrs. Marsh and Co. in the city, and 
is regularly noted in the day-book of the latter, by a clerk, by whom the 
entry was made at the dictation of the prisoner. But, in further management 
of the accounts in passing from the day-book to the private ledger, this sum 
appeared to have been carried to Mr. Fauntleroy's private account. The 
general produce was, however, afterwards posted, so as to keep up the accounts 
according to the original amount intrusted to the bank by the respective cus- 

You will, gentlemen of the jury, naturally ask yourselves, as this occurred 
so far back as the year 1815, how it happened that during the successive 
years A^hich have intervened, the dividends could have been so managed by 
the prisoner in his accounts, as to escape detection of his partners ] The 
fact, however, was, that the prisoner had the entire management for the firm 
of their stock-market business. When the dividends became payable, it was 
the practice to make out a list for one of the partners to go to the Bank of 
England and receive payment. These lists were always prepared by the 
prisoner himself, and he always continued so to manage the entry in the 
books as to correspond with the nominal amount of stock intrusted to the 
firm by their customers. The list was, of course, so made out as to represent 
every thing entered in the manner the entries would have stood had the stock 
still existed, and sums were always carried on to the accounts, so as to keep 
up the delusion. It used to be the custom for Mr. Marsh to go to the bank 
and receive the dividends for the firm; he lived in the country, and only 
came to town to perform this part of the business : he was, therefore, as to 
all the other parts of the arrangement, entirely ignorant, and incapable of de- 
tecting the fraud. There is another fact which I think it my duty to explain 
to you ; the note of the broker for the sale of this particular stock, which 
Mr. Fauntleroy ought, were the transaction a bone fide one, to have transmitted 
to the owner, was found amongst his other papers in the private tin box, 
which contained the extraordinary document I have already read to you. 

These, gentlemen, are the whole of the facts which I undertake to estab- 
lish by evidence before you, against the prisoner at the bar. I shall first 
prove the forgery, by producing the instrument, and proving, by the parties 
whose names are said to be affixed to it, that the signatures are not theirs. I 
shall next prove that the handwriting in the body of the instrument is that 
of the prisoner himself. I shall then, by the production of the extraordinary 
document to which I have alluded, prove that he recorded the act as his ; and 
from the accounts it will be clear that they were so continued by him, with 
great activity and caution, as to evade the detection of the forgeries, which 
he alone could have committed. 

/. Tyson sworn. — I have been a clerk seventeen years in the banking-house 
of Marsh, Sibbald, and Co. The prisoner, whose father was a partner at 
that time, entered the house in the same year, 1807. The firm then consisted 
of Mr. Marsh, who resided at Watford, Mr. S. J. Sibbald, Mr. Graham, who 
was a colonel in the army, Mr. Stracey, and Mr. Fauntleroy, the father of 
the prisoner. In 1807, Mr. Fauntleroy, the father of the prisoner, died (the 
prisoner here sighed deeply). I always considered that Mr. Fauntleroy was 
the most active partner in the establishment. He transacted most of the 
business himself. I remember the execution of a warrant of attorney by the 
prisoner in 1815, for the transfer of stock, which stood in the name of Frances 
Young, of Chichester, in the three per cent, consols. Miss Young was a 



customer, and banked at Marsh, Stracey, and Co.'s (a document Avas put 
into the hands of the witness). This is a warrant of attorney, dated 21st of 
May, 1818, for the transfer of stock from the name of Miss Young to that of 
Mr. Flower, a stock-broker. It purports to be attested by me, and- another 
clerk in Marsh and Co.'s bank. It is signed " J. Tyson ;" and after the sig- 
nature "J. Tyson," are the words " Clerk to INIessrs. Marsh, 8ibbald, and 
Co. bankers, Berners-street." The handwriting is not mine, it is that of 
Mr. Fauntleroy ; I have no doubt of it, as I have been accustomed to see iiim 
write daily and hourly, for years. There is also the signature " H. Fauntle- 
roy" to the power of attorney. It is the handwriting of the prisoner; it is 
signed " H. Fauntleroy, banker, Berners-street," as attorney for Miss Young; 
the prisoner then lived in Berners-street; the power of attorney is for the trans- 
fer of £5450 stock. There was no other James Tyson, a clerk, in the bank. 

John Watson sworn. — I have been for twenty-five years a clerk in the 
banking-house of Marsh and Co. and up to the failure of the house ; there is 
no other John Watson, a clerk, in the house; I see the signature "John 
Watson," and the words " Clerk to Marsh, Sibbald, and Co. bankers, Ber- 
ners-street," upon the power of attorney, which is now put into my hands; 
it is the handwriting of Mr. Fauntleroy. I do not know Miss Young; my 
signature is put to this document as an attesting witness to the execution of 
the power of attorney. I did not see Miss Young sign the document, as my 
attestation purports. I see it is signed " Frances Young, 1815." The signa- 
ture and date are in the prisoner's handwriting. I see the demand for the 
transfer of the stock : it is in Mr. Fauntleroy's handwriting. The signature 
to the demand, " H. Fauntleroy," is the handwriting of the prisoner. The 

words, " I demand the transfer of stock from Frances Young to Flower, 

Gent, stock-broker," &c. are the handwriting of Mr. Fauntleroy. 

Robert Browninu; sworn. — I am a clerk in the Bank of England, in the three 
percent, consols office, and have been for twenty years. I see this power of 
attorney now put into my hands, dated 1st of June, 1815. My name is upon 
the document as the subscribing witness. I remember the prisoner bringing 
the power of attorney to the bank, and demanding to act as attorney for Miss 
Young. I see the words " I demand to act," they are written by the pri- 
soner, and his signature is afiixed. I saw the prisoner write the words " H. 
Fauntleroy," to the demand, and my signature follows as a witness to the 
demand. I am sure I saw the prisoner sign it. He wrote the demand, and 
signed it in my presence in the sixth division in the consols office. The 
office is divided into different departments. I have the bank book in which 
the transfer of consols is entered. By referring to the day in question, the 
1st of June, 1815, I found an entry of consols in the name of Miss Frances 
Young, of Chichester. On that day. Miss Young had the sum of £5450 
three per cent, consolidated annuities standing in her name. I have seen the 
book in which transfers of stock are entered. I hold it in my hand. 

Mr. Attorney-general. — Before you look at the transfer book, say if 
the amount of stock transferred, entered in that book, is signed by the person 
transferring if? 

It is always signed by the person making the transfer. 

The Attorney-general. — Now, sir, see if there is an entry in that book of 

the transfer of £5450 stock from Miss Young to Flower, stock-broker, 

on the 1st of June, 1815, and if it is signed, and by whom? 

Witness. — I find an entry of £5450 stock, transferred from the name of 

Francis Young, to Flower, Gent, stock-broker. I find the name of Henry 

Fauntleroy, as attorney of Frances Young, spinster, of Chichester. The 
date "1st of June," and the signature, " H. Fauntleroy," are the projier 
handwriting of the prisoner, and were written by him in my presence. My 
name, as the attesting witness, is written in the margin. The name of 
the broker appears also to the transfer, thus, " Wm. Flower, Stock Ex- 

■ -" FOR FORGERY. 25 

The counsel for the prosecution then called evidence to show that the 
bank had replaced the stock of which Miss Young had been defrauded by 
the prisoner's forging the warrant of attorney; it bein^ absolutely necessary 
to show that she had no interest in the prisoner's conviction before she could 
be allowed to prove that her signature to the warrant of attorney was a for- 

3Ess Frances Young sworn. — She stated — I resided in Chichester, in the 
year 1815, and Messrs. Marsh, Sibbald, and Co. of Berners-street, were my 
bankers. In the year 1815, I had the sum of £5450 stock, in the three per 
cent, consols; Messrs. Marsh and Co. received the dividends for me. I in- 
vested a further sum of £100 a short time since. I received from Marsh and 
Co. regularly the dividends of £5450 up to the period when I made the last 
purchase, and after that time I received a dividend upon £5550. I never au- 
thorized Marsh and Co. to sell any part of the stock for me; I never autho- 
rized the prisoner to make a transfer of it. [A paper was put into the hands 
of witness.] I see the signature " Frances Young," to this transfer; it is 
not my handwriting. 

Br/ the Judge. — 1 never gave authority to any one to transfer the stock. 
By the Jttoimey-general. — I was not in London in May or June, 1815. I 
was in Chichester. 

Mr. James Tyson, clerk of Marsh and Co — It was usual for Mr. Marsh, 
the senior partner in the bank, to go to the Bank of England to receive the 
dividends. Mr. Marsh lived in the country, and usually came to London for 
that purpose. It was the practice for a list of the dividends to be made out, 
and for Mr. IMarsh to take it to the bank. The list was usually made out by 
Mr. Fauntleroy ; in fact, I believe, he always made out the list. The list 
contained the names of the parties to whom the dividends were due, and the 
sums they were entitled to, and which Mr. Marsh was to receive. [A list 
shown to the witness.] This is the list of the July dividend in consols, in 
1824. It is endorsed by Mr. Fauntleroy, the prisoner at the bar, thus, " three 
per cent, consols, July, 1824, Marsh, Stracey, and Co.' I am positive the 
endorsement is the prisoner's handwriting. The list contains names, and 
sums opposite to them. The whole are written by Mr. Fauntleroy. The 
list is alphabetical. The red figures are in the handwriting of the bank 
clerk. In the list under the letter Y, is inserted the name " Frances Young," 
and the sum opposite the name is £5450. When Mr. Marsh received the 
dividends, he paid then to Mr. Fauntleroy, who kept an account. 

Cross-examined. — This money is placed to the credit of Mr. Fauntleroy, in 
his private account. The sums are very large ; to the amount of £50,000. 
I don't know whether the money found its way into the funds of the bank, as 
that rests with the partners themselves. I don't know whether they were 
drawn out on Mr. F.'s account ; Marten and Co. were our city bankers ; 
they received this money ; Mr. Stracey would know whether this was ap- 
plied to Fauntleroy's account or not; but the clerks know nothing of it. 
It was the custom to make entries to initials. We were merely ordered to 
make an entry of them in the ledger. 

John Henry Spurliiig. — In 1815 I was clerk to Mr. Soloman, who was 
stock-broker to Marsh and Co. On the 1st of June, I sold out the sum of 
£5000 consols for Miss Young, of Chichester. It is entered in the book. 
The amount of the money produced by the sale was £295r) 5s. Then de- 
ducting one per centage, there was left £2950 2s. 6d. The amount was 
paid on the 1st of June, with my draft, to the account of Marsh and Co. at 
the banking-house of Marten and Co. I delivered the note of the sale to 
Marsh and Co. 

The note of sale was now put in. 

Samuel Plank. — I am a police officer, of Marlborough-street office. I ap- 
prehended the prisoner the 10th of September, at his banking-house, in Ber- 
ners-street. There was a desk in the room where the prisoner was, which 
C 4 



he locked after I went in. He knew I had come to apprehend him. The 
key with which he locked it, I took from his watch at Marlborough-street ; 
I delivered it to Mr. Freshfield. I went with Mr. Freshfield afterwards to 
the banking--house, and searched the desk with Mr. Freshfield. There was 
a private drawer in the desk, and from it I took some more keys. There 
were papers there, and they were brought away by me. The prisoner was 
examined that day. The keys found in the desk were kept in my possession 
till after the examination. When I went, after the examination, to the bank 
with Mr. Freshfield, we found two boxes. " Fauntleroy" was on one of 
them. I tried them with the keys, and they opened them ; after that I locked 
the boxes, and delivered the keys to Mr. Freshfield ; the boxes were taken 
away by Mr. Freshfield in a coach. 

Mr. Freshjield, the bank solicitor. — I went to the house of Marsli and Co. 
with the officer, the day the prisoner was apprehended ; I made search there. 
I received a key from Plank the ofiicer ; it opened the private desk of the 
prisoner; in the desk were found some other keys. After the examination I 
returned to the banking-house, and in a room at the back of the partners' 
room, I found two boxes; one had the name of " Fauntleroy" upon it. There 
was another box by it. I desired the ofllcer to try the box with the keys, 
that I might not take the box of any other person than the prisoner. He did 
so; and finding from the papers that it belonged to the prisoner, I took it 
home with me. In the course of the same night I went through the whole 
of one, and half of the other. One contained a number of deeds, probates of 
wills, letters of administration, and official documents. In the other, there 
were a great number of memorandums, and diaries; also, the sale note pro- 
duced. He found also the paper I now hold (the paper alluded to by the 
attorney-general in his opening speech). 

Mr. Justice Fark. — Prisoner, the case on the part of the prosecution being 
now closed, and your counsel having examined the witnesses ; they not being 
permitted to make a speech for you, you may, if you wish, say any thing 
you think proper to the jury or to me. 

Mr. Fauntleroy then rose, and drawing a paper from his bosom, said, " My 
lord, I will trouble you with a few words." Then, wiping away a tear 
which forced itself down his pallid cheek, he proceeded, in a very low, and 
sometimes hardly audible voice, to the following effect: — 

My Lords and Gentlemen of the Jury, — Overwhelmed as I am by the situa- 
tion in which I am placed, and being uninformed in what manner I should 
answer the charges which have been alleged against me, I will endeavour to 
explain, so well as the poignancy of my feelings will enable me, the embar- 
rassments of the banking-house in which I have been for many years the 
active and only responsible partner, and which have alone led to the present 
investigation ; and although I am aware I cannot expect to free myself from 
the obloquy brought upon me by my anxiety to preserve the credit and re- 
spectability of the firm, still I trust that an impartial narrative of the occur- 
rences will obtain for me the commiseration of the well-disposed part of 
the community. 

Anticipating the court will extend its indulgence to me, I will respectfully 
submit such observations as I think will tend to remove from influenced 
minds those impressions, which with sorrow I say must have been made 
upon them by the cruel and illiberal manner which the public prints have 
falsely detailed a history of my life and conduct, hoping therefrom I may 
deserve your compassion, although I may be unable to justify my proceed- 
ings, and secure my liberation by a verdict of the jury : yet they may be 
considered, in the mercy of the court and a discerning public, as some extenu- 
ation of the crimes with which I stand arraigned. 

With this object it is necessary that I should first state, shortly, the circum- 
stances under which I have been placed during my connexion with Marsh 
and Co. 


My father established the banking-house in 1792, in conjunction with Mr. 
Marsh and other gentlemen. Some of the partners retired in 1794, about which 
time a loss of £20,000. was sustained. Here commenced the difficulties of 
the house. In 1796, Mr. Stracey and another gentleman came into the firm, 
with little or no augmentation of capital. 

In 1800, I became a clerk in the house, and continued so six years, and 
although during that time I received no salary, the firm were so well satisfied 
with my attention and zeal for the interest and welfare of the establishment, 
that I was handsomely rewarded by them. In 1807 my father died; 1 then 
succeeded him ; at this time I was only twenty-two years of age, and the 
whole weight of an extensive but needy banking establishment at once de- 
volved upon me, and I found the concern deeply involved in advances to 
builders and others, which had rendered a system of discounting necessary, 
and which we were obliged to continue in consequence of the scarcity of 
money at that time, and the necessity of making further advances to those 
persons to secure the sums in which they stood indebted. 

In this perplexed state the house continued until 1810, when its embarrass- 
ments were greatly increased, owing to the bankruptcies of Brickwood and 
others, which brought upon it a sudden demand for no less a sum than 
£170,000, the greater part being for the amonnt of bills which our house had 
accepted and discounted for these parties, since become bankrupts. 

About 1814, 1815, and 1816, from the speculations with builders, brick- 
makers, &c. in which the house was engaged, it was called upon to provide 
funds to nearly £100,000, to avert the losses which would otherwise have 
visited it from those speculations. 

In 1819, the most responsible of our partners died, and we were called upon 
to pay over the amount of his capital, although the substantial resources of 
the house were wholly inadequate to meet so large a demand. 

During these numerous and trying difficulties the house was nearly without 
resources, and the whole burthen of management falling upon me, I was 
driven to a state of distraction, in which I could meet with no relief from my 
partners, and, almost broken-hearted, I sought rosources where I could, and 
so long as they were provided, and the credit of the house supported, no 
inquiries were made, either as to the manner in which they were procured, or 
as to the sources from whence they were derived. 

In the midst of these calamities, not unknown to Mr. Stracey, he quitted 
England, and continued in France, on his own private business, for two 
years, leaving me to struggle as well as I could with difficulties almost insur- 

Having thus exposed all the necessities of the house, I declare that all the 
moneys temporarily raised by me were applied, not in one instance for my 
own separate purposes or expenses, but in every case they were immediately 
placed to the credit of the house in Berners-street, and applied to the payment 
of the pressing demands upon it. This fact does not rest on my assertion, 
as the transactions referred to are entered in the books now in the possession 
of the assignees, and to which I have had no access since my apprehension. 
These books, I understand, are now in court, and will confirm the truth 
of my statement; and to whatever account all the sums may be entered, 
whether to that of stock, of exchequer bills, or to my private account, the 
whole went to the general funds of the banking-house. 

I alone have been doomed to suffer the stigma of all the transactions ; but, 
tortured as I have been, it now becomes an imperative duty to explain to 
you, gentlemen, and through you to the world at large, that the vile accusa- 
tions heaped upon me, known to be utterly false by all those who are best 
acquainted with my private life and habits, have been so heaped upon me for 
the purpose of loading me with the whole of the obloquy of those transactions, 
from which, and from which alone, my partners were preserved from bankrupt- 
cy. I have been accused of crimes I never even contemplated, and of acts of 

> ' 


profligacy I never committed ; and I appear at this bar with every prejudice 
against me, and almost prejudged. To suit the purposes of the persons to 
whom I allude, I have been represented as a man of prodigal extravagance ; 
prodigal indeed I must have been, had I expended those large sums which 
will hereafter be proved to have gone exclusively to support the credit of a 
tottering firm, the miseries of which were greatly accelerated by the drafts 
of two of its members to the amount of nearly £100,000. 

I maintained but two establishments, one at J3righ ton, where my mother and 
my sister resided in the season, the expenses of which to me, exclusive of my 
wine, were within £400 per annum. One at Lambeth, where my two children 
lived, from its very nature private and inexpensive, to which I resorted for 
retirement, after many a day passed in devising means to avert the embar- 
rassments of the banking-house. The dwelling house in Berners-street 
belonged solely to my mother, with the exception of a library and a single bed- 
room. This was the extent of my expenditure, so far as domestic expenditure 
is concerned. I am next accused of being an habitual gambler, an accusation 
which, if true, might easily account for the diffusion of the property. I am, 
indeed, a member of two clubs, the Albion and the Stratford, but never in 
my life did 1 play in either, at cards or dice, or any game of chance ; this is 
well known to the gentlemen of these clubs ; and my private friends with 
whom I have more intimately associated, can equally assert my freedom from 
all habit or disposition to play. It has been as cruelly asserted that I fraudu- 
lently invested money in the funds to answer the payment of annuities, 
amounting to £'2200, settled upon females. I never did make any such 
investment ; neither at home nor abroad, in any funds whatever, have I any 
investment ; nor is there one shilling secretly deposited by me in the hands 
of any human being. Equally ungenerous, and equally untrue it is, to charge 
me with having lent to loose and disorderly persons large sums which never 
have, and never will be repaid. I lent no sums, but to a very trifling amount, 
and those were advanced to valued friends. I can, therefore, at this solemn 
moment, declare most fervently, that I never had any advantage beyond that 
in which all my partners participated, in any of the transactions which are now- 
questioned. They, indeed, have considered themselves as partners only in 
the profits, and I am to be burthened with the whole of the opprobrium 
that others may consider them as the victims of my extravagance. I 
make this statement, not with a view to criminate others, or to exculpate 
myself; but borne down as I am by calamit)^, I will not consent to be held 
out to the world as a cold-blooded and abandoned profligate, ruining all around 
me for the selfish gratification of vice and sensuality, and involving even my 
confiding partners in the general destruction. 

Gentlemen, I have frailties and errors enough to account for. I have suf- 
ferings enough past, present, and in prospect ; and if my life was all that was 
required of me, I might endure in silence, though I will not endure the odium 
on my memory of having sinned to pamper delinquencies to which I never 
was addicted. Thus much has been extorted from me by the fabrications 
which have been cruelly spread amongst the public, that very public from 
whom the arbiters of my fate were to be selected. Perhaps, however, I ought 
to thank the enemy who besieged the prison with his slanders — that he did 
so while my life was spared to refute them, and that he waited not until the 
grave to which he would hurry me, had closed at once on my answer and my 
forgiveness. There is one subject more connected with these charges to 
which I am compelled to advert, and I do so with great reluctance. It has 
added to the other charges made against me, lest the world should think there 
was any vice in which I was not an adept. I have been accused of actincr 
treacherously towards the female who now bears my name, having refused to 
make reparation until threatened by her brother, and of having deserted her 
at a moment when she had the greatest claim on my protection. Delicacy 
forbids me entering into an explanation on this subject further than to declare, 


Mm> .*-.,- FOR FORGERY. ' 29 

that the conduct I adopted on that occasion was uninflaenced by the interfe- 
rence of any individual, and arose, as 1 then considered, and do still consider, 
from a laudable and honourable feeling on my part ; and the lady's brother, 
so far from coming forward at the time alluded to, was on service in the 
West Indies. Could all the circumstances be exposed, I feel convinced that 
every liberal-minded man would applaud my determination ; and I feel satis- 
faction in stating, that the lady in question has always been, and still is, 
actuated by the best of feelings towards me. 

I have now only to apologize to the court for having entered so much at 
length into the statement of my unfortunate case; and in conclusion, I have 
to express my perfect confidence, that it will receive every favourable consi- 
deration at your hands ; and I fully rely that you, gentlemen of the jury, will 
give an impartial and merciful decision. — 

The prisoner, having concluded his address, sat down, evidently exhausted 
by the effort, and overcome by his feelings. A glass of water was brought 
to him, of which he took a little ; and while the witnesses to his character 
were examining, he leant his head on his hand, in which he still held his 
handkerchief in a manner to cover his face, as if unwilling to be seen by his 
former friends. While they were giving their evidence he often appeared to 

The following witnesses were called to the prisoner's character, and ex- 
amined by Mr. Gurney. 

Mr. John Wilson knew Mr. Fauntleroy about sixteen years, during the 
whole of which time he maintained an unspotted character; he always consi- 
dered him a man of the strictest integrity. 

Sir Charles Forbes had known Mr. Fauntleroy twelve years, and always 
considered him an honourable and obliging gentleman, and an upright man 
of business. 

Mr. Gray knew him fifteen years, and always considered him deserving of 
the highest esteem and respect. 

Mr. Bolt knew Mr. Fauntleroy twenty-seven years, and always esteemed 
him a kind, an honourable, and an upright man. 

Mr. James Robinson knew him eleven years, during which time he main- 
tained as high a character as man could possess. 

Mr. Wand was acquainted with Mr. Fauntleroy eleven years ; his character 
was most excellent. 

Mr. Lindsay knew Mr. Fauntleroy ten or twelve years ; he did not know a 
man who appeared to possess more kind or honourable feelings. 

Mr. Anthony Browne was acquainted with him sixteen or seventeen 
years, and always entertained the highest opinion of his honour and integrity. 

Mr. Wyatt had Known Mr. Fauntleroy twelve years; he was a most hon- 
ourable, kind-hearted, and benevolent man. 

Mr. Montreal knew Mr. Fauntleroy twelve years; he was a most benevo- 
lent man, and had the highest character for integrity, 

Mr. Montague was acquainted with Mr. Fauntleroy upwards of twelve 
years, and never knew a more kind-hearted and humane man. His charac- 
ter was most excellent. 

Mr. Vernon was acquainted with him sixteen years; he always had the 
character, and appeared to be a very kind and a very honourable man. 

Mr. Ross knew Mr. Fauntleroy fourteen years ; he had the character of 
being strictly honourable and upright. 

Mr. Church knew Mr. Fauntleroy twelve years, and had much dealing 
with him. He was always strictly honourable and upright in all his trans- 
actions with witness, and had universally the character of the strictest inte- 
grity and honour. 

Mr. Yatman was acquainted with him twelve years; he always possessed 
a character of the highest excellence. 


Mr. Boshriel was acquainted with Mr. Fauntleroy fifteen years, and always 
considered him a perfectly honest and honourable man. 

Mr. Justice Park now commenced his charge to the jury. The prisoner, 
he said, was indicted for forg-ing a power of attorney, for the transfer of stock 
helonging to Miss Frances Young ; and for uttering such power of attorney 
knowing it to be forged. There were other counts in the indictment, charg- 
ing the prisoner with an intent to defraud the Bank of England, and also a 
person of the name of Flower, to whom the transfer was made. The forgery 
they might put out of their consideration, as there was no evidence of its 
having been committed in London ; and they, as a London jury, could not 
try a prisoner for any crime not committed in the city ; but if they should 
think that the count which charged the prisoner with uttering the forged 
power of attorney at the Bank of England, which was in the city of London, 
knowing it to be forged, finding him guilty on that count was the same in 
its legal etfect as if he were found guilty on all the counts in the indictment. 

The attorney-general and the prisoner had both called on them to dismiss 
all reports from their minds ; and he, ]\Ir. .Justice Park, had allowed the 
prisoner to proceed in the statement he had made in answer to those cruel 
charges, though that statement did not go at all to the point of the case to be 
decided, as the only question for their consideration was, whether the pri- 
soner uttered the power of attorney given in evidence in the manner imputed 
to him ] That question contained three points ; the first was, was that in- 
strument forged? the second, did the prisoner utter if? the third and 
most important, did the prisoner at the time of uttering it know it to be 
forged 1 If they were satisfied by the evidence that those three things were 
proved, then the prisoner's guilt was legally proved, and it would be their 
duty to find a verdict in conformity with that evidence. The jury had heard 
other indictments against the prisoner read, but they must put them out of 
consideration, as they were only to attend to the case on which they had 
heard evidence : but if they Avere satisfied, by the evidence they had heard, 
that the crime imputed to the prisoner had been proved, if he had the charac- 
ter of an angel, it would be their duty to find him guilt)\ 

The jury then retired to deliberate on their verdict. During their absence, 
which lasted for twenty minutes, Mr. Fauntleroy resumed his seat, and appear- 
ed extremely affected. A sudden rush of the crowd at the door of the court 
announced the return of the jury. The prisoner stood up to hear his awful 
sentence. Whilst the clerk of the arraigns called over the names of the jury, 
and repeated the formal words of the law — " How say you : are you agreed upon 
your verdict? is the prisoner at the bar Guilty, or Not Guilty ?" the most in- 
tense interest was manifested by every person present. The foreman replied, 
" Guilty of uttering the forged instrument, knowing it to he forged^ 

A short conference then took place between the bench and the counsel for 
the prosecution, and referred to the propriety of proceeding with other indict- 
ments. Upon its conclusion, 

Mr. Justice Park addressed the prisoner. " Henry Fauntleroy, the learned 
attorney-general does not feel it necessary, in the discharge of his public 
duty, to proceed further with the indictments which have been preferred 
against you. It is no part of my painful duty to pronounce the awful sen- 
tence of the law, which must follow the verdict which has just been recorded. 
That unpleasing task will devolve on the learned recorder, at the termination 
of the sessions ; but it is a part of my duty, as a Christian magistrate, to implore 
you that you bethink yourself seriously of your latter end. According to the 
constitution of this country, the prerogative of mercy is vested in the crown. 
With that I have nothing to do. I do not say that in your unhappy case the 
extension of mercy is impossible; but I am afraid that, after the many 
serious acts which, under your own handwriting, have been proved against 
you, involving so many persons in ruin, you would only deceive yourself by 
indulging in any hope of mercy on this side of the grave. Let me then 

FOR FORGERY. ' ^ 31 

beseech you to turn your heart to the contemplation of your awful situation, 
and whilst it is yet in your power, use all your exertions to make peace with 
your God." 

On November 2d, Mr. Fauntleroy was brought up to receive his sentence, 
when the deputy clerk of the arraigns said, turning to the prisoner : " You, 
Henry Fauntleroy, stand convicted of uttering as true, a deed, well knowing 
it to be forged. What have you to say why you should not be sentenced to 
die, according to the law ?" 

Mr. Alley, counsel for the prisoner, then observed, that the prisoner had 
not been found guilty generally on the counts of the indictment, but simply 
on that which laid to his charge the uttering a forged power of attorney, 
knowing it to be forged. If the verdict had been a general one, he should 
not have troubled the court with the present argument, for there was an 
express law making the act of forgery a capital crime. Until the reign of 
George the Second, no forgery had been capital, owing most probably to the 
small circulation of paper up to that time, and it was then made capital to 
forge or counterfeit any power of attorney, to convey fraudulently any share 
or portion of stock. This then did not extend to the act of uttering, and yet 
this was a law made for the protection of the Bank of England. He con- 
sidered this point so clear, that no warpingor torturing of language could turn 
it from the interpretation he put upon it. Subsequently to this, by the 2d 
George H. it was made capital to forge or utter any bill, bond, note, will, 
testament, security, or deed ; but here there was no mention made of a power 
of attorney, unless, indeed, it was to be argued, that this instrument was 
included in the word deed. If, however, this pretence was set up, he thought 
that he had it in his power to remove any such objection; this act originally 
extended to offences against individuals. It was afterwards enlarged so as 
to include all companies and corporations. This was how the law then 
stood, and he thought that it was never intended by those laws to include an 
offence of this kind ; it was on this he should rest his argument, so that this 
unfortunate gentleman should not be called upon to suffer the sentence of 
death. By the 57th George III. it was enacted that it should be capital to 
forge a power of attorney to receive the wages of seamen, or to make use of 
such power with intent to defraud. This was an additional proof that the 
word deed in 2d of George II. did not apply to letters of attorney ; for, if it 
had, this new act would have been superfluous ; and it was a curious fact, 
that it was not till after those two acts of parliament that any such thing 
was known as the three per cents., in which this forgery had been com- 
mitted, so that these acts could not have been meant to apply to them. 

Mr. Justice Garrow observed, that a reference to dates would easily settle 
this matter. 

Mr. Alley continued — If he was right on that point, it was quite clear that 
the legislature had provided no protection for this property. But to return 
to the word deed, which occurred in the 2d George II. he held, that for an 
instrument to come within the meaning of that word, it was necessary that it 
should be per se a security for money, such as a bill or a bond ; but a power 
of attorney was, in fact, no such security; its only value was in reference to 
something else, and was in itself intrinsically good for nothing. The only 
securities protected by this law were money securities, which as paper had 
become in so eminent a degree the circulating medium, it was thought neces- 
'sary specially to protect ; but this was all that was contemplated, as might be 
gathered from the provision made for letters of attorney in the peculiar case 
of seamen's wages, in the 57th George III. ; an act which was drawn up by 
the law officers of the crown, who would hardly have wasted both the time 
and money of the country, ii^ they had thought that that species of instru- 
ment was already provided for. 

Mr. Broderick said, the terms only mentioned the uttering, but doubtless 
that included the disposing. Our motive, therefore, is not that no judgment 


can be pronounced, but that judgment of death cannot be passed ; the only 
statute under which the prisoner is liable, is one which inflicts only the 
punishment of transportation, and to this point he wished to give all his 
weight of argument. The 2d George II. enacted, that if any person forged or 
caused to be forged any deed, or uttered or published as true any such forged 
deed, it should be a capital oftence ; by the 31st of George 11. this was ex- 
tended to corporations, in consequence of the case of Harrison. The only 
question, therefore, was, whetlier this power of attorney was a deed within 
the meaning of the act ; and if he could show that the legislature itself did 
not consider it so, he trusted it would be a strong ground for convincing his 
lordship. By the 8th George I. the capital punishment is confined to the 
forging alone, and not to the uttering. This, therefore, certainly was not 
within the range of the indictment ; the 2d of George II. extended the capital 
punishment to uttering, but neither of these acts use the term " letter of 
attorney ;" the 57th of George III. makes the forging a letter of attorney for 
seamen's wages capital ; but what would have been the use of an express act 
to make this capital, if all powers of attorney were included iu the 2d 
George II. in the word deed? He now came to the only act under which the 
prisoner could be sentenced, viz. that of .S7th of George III. c. 122, and 
this awarded transportation for seven years, if the names of the attesting 
witnesses were forged to a power of attorney. Here, then, they got the 
words power of attorney in an act of legislature ; and he considered this 
as a tacit declaration that a power of attorney was not included in the former 
word deed. 

Mr. Sergeant Bosanquet, in reply, said, it had been stated, that this prose- 
cution was different to most others in the manner in which the indictment 
had been framed. He could only say in reply, that since he had had the 
honour to assist the bank in its prosecutions, the indictments had been 
framed in the same way as the one upon which the unfortunate prisoner had 
been convicted. In the very last instance of a conviction for forging a power 
of attorney, alluded to in the case of Mr. Waite of Bristol, the indictment 
was drawn up under the same act of parliament, and framed in the same 
way, except with this difference, that in that case there was no charge of 
forgery at all in the indictment: the different counts confined the charge 
solely to the uttering the instrument. The reason this was done was because 
the power of attorney had been forged in Bristol, and therefore there was no 
ground for charging him with the forgery in London. The case of the un- 
fortunate Mr. Waite was precisely similar to the charge against the prisoner; 
and after a most able argument, the conviction was good, and Mr. Waite un- 
derwent the sentence of the law. 

Mr. Law followed on the same side, and at considerable length, when Mr. 
Justice Garrow said, that the awful period of time had now arrived in which 
it was to be decided whether the sentence of the law should be passed on the 
unfortunate man at the bar. The case had already met, in the progress of 
his trial, with all the attention and all the patience of his learned brother, and 
it was now his duty to say, that of the propriety and legality of the sentence 
then passed he did not entertain the slightest doubt. He was now bound to 
say, that, for his own part, he did not entertain a doubt upon the subject : the 
record bore upon the face of it the oftence clearly made out — that of uttering, 
knowing it to be forged, the signature of Frances Young. This was, un- 
doubtedly, a violation of the statute enacted for the punishment of uttering a 
forged deed, knowing it to be forged. 

The clerk of the arraigns then began the names of the other prisoners 
cast for death, when Mr. Fauntleroy interrupted him, by reading a speech 
from a written paper, in which he implored his lordship's interference for 
royal mercy. 

The recorder then passed sentence of death on Mr. Fauntleroy, in the 
usual terms. 


The Recorder. — If the prisoner that read a paper to the court is desirous 
that the petition should be presented to his majesty's council, I will take care 
that such is the case. 

Several petitions were accordingly presented in behalf of the prisoner, 
amonor which was one from his "wife ; but these failing in their object, he 
was executed on October 30th. ....... .. 


(germany,) for poisoning. 

In 1808, a widow, about fifty years old, resident at Pegnitz, and bearing 
the name of Anna Schonleben, was received as housekeeper into the family 
of the Justiz-Amptmann Glaser, who had for some time previous been living 
separate from his wife. Shortly after the commencement of her service, 
however, a partial reconciliation took place, in a great measure effected 
through the exertions of Schonleben, and the wife returned to her husband's 
house. But their reunion was of short duration, for in the course of four 
weeks after her return, she was seized with a sudden and violent illness, of 
which, in a day or two, she expired. 

On this event Schonleben quitted the service of Glaser, and was received 
in the same capacity into that of the Justiz-Amptmann Grohmann, then 
unmarried. Though only thirty-eight years of age, he was in delicate health, 
and had suffered severely from the gout, so that Schonleben had an oppor- 
tunity of showing, by the extreme care and attention which she bestow-ed 
upon his comforts, her qualifications for the office she had undertaken. Her 
cares, however, it seemed were unavailing; her master fell sick in spring, 
1809, his disease being accompanied with violent internal pains of the sto- 
mach, dryness of the skin, vomiting, &c., and he died on the 8th May, after 
an illness of eleven days. Schonleben, who had attended him with unre- 
mitting attention during his illness, administering all his medicines with 
her own hand, appeared inconsolable for his loss, — and that of her situation. 

The high character, however, which she had acquired for her prudence, 
care, and gentleness as a sick-nurse, immediately procured her another in the 
family of the Kammer-Amptmann Gebhard, whose wife was at that time 
on the point of being confined. This event took place on the 13th May, 
shortly after the entry of the new housekeeper, who made herself particu- 
larly useful, and mother and child were going on extremely well, when on 
the third day after the birth, the lady was seized with spasms, internal heat, 
violent thirst, vomiting, &c. In the extremity of her agony, she frequently 
exclaimed that they had given her poison. Seven days after her confinement 
she expired. 

Gebhard, the widower, left without any one to take the management of his 
domestic affairs, thought that, in the mean time, he could not do better than 
retain in his service the housekeeper, who, during his wife's illness, had 
distinguished herself so much by the zeal and assiduity of her attentions to 
the invalid. Some of his friends attempted to dissuade him from retaining 
an inmate, who seemed by some fatality to bring death into every family 
with which she became connected ; but Gebhard, who was not of a super- 
stitious turn, laughed at their apprehensions, and Schonleben remained in 
his house, now invested with almost unlimited authority. 

During her residence here, many circumstances occurred, which, though 
at the time they excited little attention, were subsequently recollected and 
satisfactorily established. These will be hereafter alluded to : meantime 



we proceed to that which first directed suspicion against her. Gebhard had, 
at last, by the importunity of a friend, who (from what ground he did not 
explain) had advised him to dismiss his housekeeper, been prevailed on to 
take his advice, and had communicated as gently as possible his resolution 
to Schonleben herself. She received it without any observation, except an 
expression of surprise at the suddenness with which he had changed his 
mind, and the next day was fixed for her departure for Bayreuth. Meantime 
she bustled about as usual, arranged the rooms, and filled the salt-box in the 
kitchen, observing that it was the custom for those who went away to do so 
for their successors. On the morning of her departure, as a token of her 
good-will, she made coflTee for the maids, supplying them with sugar from a 
paper of her own. The coach, which her master had been good-natured 
enough to procure for her, was already at the door. She took his child, now 
twenty weeks old, in her arms, gave it a biscuit soaked in milk, caressed it, 
and took her leave. Scarcely had she been gone half an hour, when both 
the child and the servants were seized with violent retching, which lasted 
for some hours, leaving them extremely weak and ill. Suspicion being now 
at last fairly awakened, Gebhard had the salt-box examined which Schon- 
leben had so officiously filled. The salt was found strongly impregnated 
with arsenic. In the salt barrel also, from which it had been taken, thirty 
grains of arsenic were found, mixed with about three pounds of salt. 

That the series of sudden deaths which had occurred in the families in 
which Schonleben had resided, was owing to poison, now occurred to every 
one as clear ; and they almost wondered how so many circumstances could 
have passed before their eyes without awakening them to the truth. During 
her residence with Gebhard, it appeared that two visiters who had dined with 
her master, in August, 1809, were seized after dinner with the same symp- 
toms of vomiting, convulsions, spasms, &c. which had affected the servants 
on the day of Schonleben's departure, and of which the more unfortunate 
mistress of the family had expired ; that on one occasion she had given a 
glass of white wine to Rosenhauer, a servant who had called with a message, 
which had occasioned similar symptoms, so violent indeed as to oblige him 
for a day or two to confine himself to bed ; that on another, she had taken a 
lad of nineteen, Johann Kraus, into the cellar, where she offered him a glass 
of brandy, which, after tasting and perceiving a white sediment within it, he 
declined ; that one of the servants, Barbara Waldmann, with whom Schon- 
leben had frequent quarrels, after drinking a cup of coffee, was seized with 
exactly the same symptoms as her companions : and what, perhaps, appeared 
the most extraordinary of all, that at a party given by her master on the 1st 
September, having occasion to send her to his cellar for some pitchers of 
beer, he himself, and all the guests that partook of it, five in number, were 
almost immediately afterwards seized with the usual spasms, sickness, &c. 
which seemed to accompany the use of those liquids whenever they were 
dispensed by Schonleben. 

Although from the long period which had elapsed since the death of those 
individuals, whose fate there was reason to suppose had been so prematurely 
accelerated by this smooth-faced poisoner, there was no great probability that 
any light would be thrown upon these dark transactions by an inspection of 
the bodies, it was resolved on at all events to give the matter a trial. The 
result of this ghastly examination, however, was more decisive than could 
have been expected ; all the bodies exhibited in a greater or less degree those 
appearances which modern researches into the effects of poisons have shown 
to be produced by the use of arsenic; and in one of them in particular, that 
of the wife of Glaser, the arsenic was still capable of being detected in sub- 
stance. On the whole, the medical inspectors felt themselves warranted in 
concluding, that the death of at least two individuals out of the three had 
been occasioned by poison. 

Meantime Schonleben had been living quietly at Bayreuth, seemingly 


quite unconscious of the stornri which was gathering around her. Her finish- 
ed hypocrisy even led her, while on the road, to write a letter to her late 
master, reproaching him with his ingratitude in dismissing one who had been 
a protecting angel to his child ; and in passing through Nurnberg, to take up 
her residence with the mother of her victim, the wife of Gebhard. On, 
reaching Bayreuth she again wrote more than once to Gebhard ; the object 
of her letters evidently being to induce him again to receive her back into 
his family. She made a similar attempt on her former master Glaser, but 
without success. While engaged in these negotiations the warrant arrived 
for her apprehension, and she was taken into custody on the 19th October. 
On examining her person three packets were found in her pocket, two of 
them containing fly-powder, and the third arsenic. 

For a long time she would confess nothing ; evading with great ingenuity, 
or resisting with obstinacy every attempt to obtain from her any admission 
of her guilt. It was not till the 16th April, 1810, that her courage gave way, 
when she learned the result of the examination of the body of Glaser. Then 
at last, weeping and wringing her hands, she confessed that she had on two 
occasions administered poison to her. No sooner had this confession been 
uttered, than she fell to the ground " as if struck by lightning," says Feuer- 
bach, and was removed in strong convulsions from the chamber. 

We shall condense into a short connected statement the substance of the 
numerous examinations which this wretch subsequently underwent, and of 
the information acquired from other sources by which her statements were in 
many particulars modified, and in some points refuted. Born in Nurnberg 
in 1760, she had lost both her parents before she reached her fifth year. Her 
father had possessed some property, and till her nineteenth year she remained 
under the charge of her guardian, who was warmly attached to her, and be- 
stowed much care on her education. At the age of nineteen she married, 
rather against her inclination, the notary Zwanziger, for such, not Schonle- 
ben, was her real name ; the loneliness and dulness of her matrimonial life 
contrasted very disagreeably with the gayeties of her guardian's house ; and 
in the absence of her husband, who divided his time between business and 
the bottle, she dispelled her ennui by sentimental novel reading, weeping 
over the sorrows of Werter, and the struggles of Pamela and Emilia Galotti. 
The property which fell to her on her coming of age was soon dissipated by 
her husband and herself in extravagant entertainments and an expensive es- 
tablishment, and a few years saw them sunk in wretchedness, with a family 
to support, and without even the comfort of mutual cordiality or esteem ; for 
the admirer of Pamela, whose sympathetic heart had bled for the Sorrows 
of Werter, now attempted to prop the falling establishment by making the 
best use she could of her personal attractions (which, hideous and repulsive 
as she appeared at the time of her trial, she described as having once been 
very considerable), while her husband, as mean and grovelling in adversity 
as he had been assuming and overbearing in prosperity, was a patient spec- 
tator of his own dishonour. Perhaps it was consoling to him, as it appeared 
to have been to his wife, that she "had the delicacy," as she styled it, "to 
confine her favours to the higher classes of society." At all events, shortly 
afterwards he died, leaving his widow to pursue her career of vice and deceit 
alone. During the time which intervened between the death of her husband, 
and that when she first entered the service of Glaser, her life had been one 
continued scene of licentiousness and hypocrisy. Devoid of principle from 
the first, mingling chiefly with others, who, though of respectable or exalted 
rank, were as destitute of it as herself; forced to pretend attachment where 
none was felt; to submit where she would willingly have ruled ; som.etimes 
laughed at or treated with ingratitude where she was really labouring to 
please ; a wanderer on the earth for twenty years without a resting place or 
a sincere friend ; she became at last an habitual hypocrite, to whom falsehood 
seemed to be actually more natural than truth. Rage and disappointment at 



her fate, and a bitter hatred against mankind, seemed to have gradually been 
maturing- in her heart; till at last all the better sympathies of her nature 
were poisoned, and nothing remained but the determination to better her con- 
dition at the expense of all those ties which humanity holds most sacred. 
When and how the idea of poison dawned on her, — whether suddenly, or by 
degrees, — her confessions did not explain ; but there is every reason to be- 
lieve that this tremendous agent had been employed by her previous to her 
appearance in Glaser's house. Determined as she was at all hazards to 
advance her own interests, poison seemed to furnish her at once with the 
talisman she was in search of; it punished her enemies, it removed those 
who stood in her way ; its operations afforded her the means of rendering 
her good qualities conspicuous in her affected sympathy for the sufferer ; 
nay, administered in smaller quantities by her experienced hand, it was 
equally effectual in preventing a second visit from a disagreeable guest, or 
annoying a fellow servant with whom she had a quarrel. By long acquaint- 
ance poison had become so familiar to her, that she seemed to look on it as 
a useful friend ; something equally available for seriousness or jest ; and to 
which she was indebted for many a trusty and secret service. When the 
arsenic which had been taken from her pocket was exhibited to her some 
months afterwards at Culmbach, she seemed to tremble with delight ; her 
eyes glistened as she gazed upon it, as if she recognised a friend from whom 
she had long been separated. Of the crimes which she had perpetrated, too, 
she always spoke as of slight indiscretions, rendered almost necessary by 
circumstances, — so completely by repetition had murder itself lost its cha- 
racter of horror. 

From the first moment she had entered the house of Glaser, the idea 
of obtaining an influence over his mind, so as to secure him as her husband, 
had occurred to her. That he was then married was immaterial : poison 
would be the speediest process of divorce. First, however, the victim must 
be brought within the range of her power; hence her anxiety to effect the 
reconciliation of the pair, and the return of the wife to her husband's house. 
The plan succeeded, and within a few weeks after her return, Zwanziger 
commenced her operations. Two successive doses were administered, of 
which the last was effectual. "While she was mixing it," she said, "she 
encouraged herself with the notion that she was preparing for herself a com- 
fortable establishment in her old age." This prospect having been defeated 
by her dismissal from Glaser's service, she entered that of Grohmann. Here 
her common mode of revenging herself upon such of her fellow servants as 
she happened to dislike, was to mix fly-powder with the beer in the cellar, 
in the hope of creating illness, though not death ; and of this beer it hap- 
pened more than once that some of the visiters at Grohmann's table also 
partook. These, however, were mere preparations " to keep her hand in ;" 
the victim for whom her serious poisons were reserved was her unfortunate 
master. Here also she had for some time indulged the hope of a matrimo- 
nial connexion ; infirm and gouty as he was, she thought she would obtain 
such an ascendency over him as to induce him to descend to this alliance; 
when all at once her hopes were blasted by hearing of his intended marriage 
with another. For some time she tried by every means in her power to break 
off the connexion ; but her arts proved ineffectual, and Grohmann, provoked 
by her pertinacity, had mentioned to a friend that he could no longer think 
of retaining her in his service. The wedding day was fixed ; all hopes 
of preventing the marriage were at an end ; and nothing now remained for 
her but revenge. In five days afterwards Grohmann fell a victim to poison. 

From this service Zwanziger passed into that of Gebhard, whose wife soon 
shared the fate of Grohmann ; for no other reason, according to her own ac- 
count, than because that lady had treated her harshly, and occasionally found 
fault with her management of the house. Even this wretched apology was 
contradicted by the facts proved by the other inmates of the house. The 


true motive, as in the preceding cases, was, that she had formed designs 
upon Gebhard similar to those which had failed in the case of Glaser, and 
that the unfortunate lady stood in the way. Her death was accomplished by 
poisoning two pitchers of beer from which Zwanziger from time to time sup- 
plied her with drink. Nay, even her husband was made the innocent instru- 
ment of his wife's death by administering the same liquid to the invalid. 
Even while confessing that she had thus poisoned the beer, she persisted in 
maintaining that she had no intention of destroying the unfortunate lady; if 
she could have foreseen that such a consequence would have followed, she 
would rather have died ! 

During the remaining period, from the death of Gebhard's wife to that of 
her quitting his service, she admitted having frequently administered poisoned 
beer, wine, coffee, and other liquors, to such guests as she disliked, or to 
her fellow servants, when any of them had the misfortune to fall under her 
displeasure. The poisoning of the salt-box she also admitted ; but with 
that strange and inveterate hypocrisy which ran through all her confessions, 
she maintained that the arsenic in the salt barrel must have been put in by 
some other person. 

The fate of such a wretch could not of course be doubtful ; she was con- 
demned to be beheaded, and listened to the sentence apparently without emo- 
tion. She told the judge that her death was a fortunate thing for others, for she 
felt that she could not have left otT poisoning had she lived. On the scaffold 
she bow-ed courteously to the judge and assistants, walked calmly up to the 
block, and received the blow without shrinkinsf. 



John Dorke, alias Romney Rouvelett, was a notorious swindler, well 
known in Bath, where he passed for a West-Indian of considerable fortune 
and family. He was about forty years of age, had the appearance of a 
Creole, and lived with a woman named Elizabeth Barnet, who passed for his 
wife. Having been arrested for debt, he was occasionally visited by this 
woman in the Fleet prison, and was afterwards removed by habeas corpus 
into Somersetshire, on a charge of forgery. Conscious that Elizabeth Barnet 
Avas the only witness against him, by whose evidence he could be convicted 
of the forgery, as well as perjury (another case also pending, Rouvelett 
having falsely sworn a debt against Mr. Durant, of the York-hotel, Albemarle- 
street), he had her taken up for a supposed robbery, and charged her with 
stealing his purse in the Fleet prison, containing forty guineas, half a guinea, 
and a valuable diamond. This case of singular atrocity came on at the Old 
Bailey, July 5, 1806. 

Rouvelett was brought up from Ilchester jail, ironed, to prosecute on his 
indictment. An application was made to put off the trial, on the affidavit 
of the prosecutor, which stated, that some material witnesses at Liverpool 
had not had sufficient notice to attend. The object of this attempt was to 
prevent the prisoner from appearing against him on his trial for forgery, as 
also to prevent her becoming a witness against him in the case of perjury 
already mentioned. The recorder detected the whole transaction, which he 
described as the most foul and audacious that ever was attempted. He then 
ordered the trial to proceed. 

Rouvelett (who presumptuously called himself a gentleman) stated that 
the prisoner was with him on the 11th of June, 1805, when he drew half a 


guinea from his purse, and gave it to a messenger; after which he put the 
purse, containing the propertj"^ as stated in the indictment, into the pocket of 
a surtout coat, which was hanging up in the room, in which was the ring, 
worth £30. There were no other persons in the room but the prisoner and 
himself; and in twenty minutes after she was gone, he missed his property 
from the great coat pocket. He concluded that the money was safe, as the 
prisoner was gone to Durant's hotel, Albemarle-street, and he did not suppose 
licr capable of robbing him. .She, however, absconded, and he never saw her 
again until she was arrested at his suit, jointly with Durant, in an action of 
trover for £xJO,000 for deeds, mortgages, and bonds, bearing interest, for which 
bail was given. He had no opportunity of bringing her to justice for the 
alleged robbery, he being himself a prisoner. 

On the cross-examination of the prosecutor, he said he was born at St. 
Martin's in the West Indies, and had been at most of the islands in that quar- 
ter; his uncle was a planter in the West Indies, and he lived on such means, 
whilst in England, as his family afforded him ; he was brought up in Amster- 
dam, at the house of Mr. Hope, banker ; after which he became a lieutenant 
in the British army. He knew IMr. Hope of Harley-street, Cavendish-square, 
and Mr. Hope knew him tobe Mr. Rouvelett, of St. Martin's, for the two families 
had been closely connected for one hundred years. He had lived in England 
on remittances from his uncle in goods or bills, but he had no property of his 
own. Messrs. Stevens and Boulton used to pay witness his remittances at 
Liverpool, but he could not tell who paid them in London. 

The recorder observed, that the witness should not be pressed too far in 
giving an account of himself, as he stood charged with forgery. On being 
usked if he, the prosecutor, had not said he would be revenged on the pri- 
soner, as he was intimate with Durant, and charged her with felony, he an- 
sv.-ered that he did not recollect having said so; but the question being 
pressed, he parti}' acknowledged it. The purse, which was empty, witness 
acknowledged was found under his pillow, on the 12th of .lune, the day after 
the alleged robbery, by his chum, a man of the name of Cummings. The 
|irisoner Avas with him in prison after the 12th of .lune, although he had said 
she had absconded. The recorder did not suffer the case to be farther pro- 
ceeded in, and directed the jury to acquit the prisoner; observing that this 
was the most foul charge he had ever heard of. The disgust of the persons 
in court was manifested by hisses and groans, as Rouvelett retired, in such a 
manner as baffled the efforts of the officers of justice for some time to suppress. 

The trial of this malicious offender, who was thus happily disappointed in 
his views, came on at Wells, August 12, 1806, before Baron Thompson, and 
excited considerable interest throughout the county of Somerset. He was 
indicted for having feloniously and knowingly forged a certain bill of exchange, 
dated Grenada, 10th of November, 1804, for £420 sterling, payable at nine 
months' sight, to the order of George Danley, Esq. and drawn by Willis and 
Co. on Messrs. Child and Co. in London, with the forged acceptance of 
Messrs. Child and Co. on the face thereof, with the intent to defraud Mary 

^Ir. Philip George, the yoimger clerk to the mayor of Bath, stated, that 
thf^ bill in question was delivered to him by the mayor of Bath, and that he 
had ever since kept the bill in his own custod)% 

Mrs. Mary Simeon, dealer in laces at Bath, was next called, and was pro- 
ceeding to give her evidence, when Mr. Jekyl, counsel for the prisoner, 
submitted a legal objection to the court. He observed a difference between 
the bill itself, and the bill as set forth in the indictment. The words to 
which he alluded were, "Willis and C." in the bill, whereas in the indict- 
ment they were set forth " Willis and Co." After some discussion. Baron 
Thompson and the jury agreeing that there appeared no essential difference, 
as the letter o could be distinguished, the objection was overruled. 

Mrs. Simeon having been then permitted to proceed, stated, that in April, 


1805, she lived at Bath, the prisoner at the bar came to her house, on or 
about the 16th of the preceding- March; having looked at several articles in 
which she dealt, he bought a fan, paid for it, and said he should bring his 
wife with him in the afternoon. He accordingly did so, and brought Eliza- 
beth Barnet as his wife, Mrs. Romney ; he asked whether Mrs. Simeon had 
a Brussels veil of 150 guineas value. The witness answered she had not; 
he then bought two yards of lace, at four guineas a yard, and went away. 
This happened on a Saturday. The Monday following, he came again, ac- 
companied by his wife, looked at a lace cloak, at veils worth five-and-twenty 
guineas, and other goods, but did not buy any. In the course of the week 
he called again, and proposed to the witness to purchase a quantity of goods, 
if she would take a bill of a long date, accepted by Messrs. Child and Co. 
bankers, in London. Witness answered, she had no objection to take a bill 
accepted by such a house. He returned in two or three days, and purchased 
articles to the value of about £140, which, with other goods afterwards 
bought, and with money advanced by her, made the prisoner her debtor to 
tlie amount of £299. He bought all the articles himself, unaccompanied by 
his wife. In the month of April, between the 20th and the 24th, the prisoner 
proposed paying for the different articles, and he brought his wife to the 
house ; when a meeting took place between them and the witness, and her 
brother, Mr. Du Hamel. He said, "I am going to London, and I should like 
to settle with you : this is the bill I proposed to you to take ; it is accepted 
by Child and Co. bankers, in London;" and, turning over the bill, he added, 
" the endorser is as good as the acceptors." The bill was here produced, and 
proved by Mrs. Simeon to be the same which the prisoner gave her in 1805. 
The witness then took the bill, and her brother, IMr. Du Hamel, paid to him 
for her £35, which, with the articles previously bought, made the whole of 
the prisoner's debt to her £299. He wrote before her on the bill the name 
of John Romney, as his name. He afterwards went to London by the mail. 
She sent the bill next day to London. The conversation which passed 
between her and the prisoner, in the presence of her brother and Elizabeth 
Barnet, was entirely in the French language. He left his wife at her house, 
where she slept. 

While he was absent, the witness received intelligence from London that 
the bill was a forgery, and she instantly wrote a letter to the prisoner inform- 
ing him of it. He came to Bath, in consequence of the letter, late on Sunday 
night, and a meeting took place then at her house between him, and his wife, 
herself, and her brother, and her solicitor, Mr. Luke Evill, of Bath. 

The conversation then passed in English. Several questions were put to 
the prisoner by herself and by Mr. Evill. Mr. Evill asked him whether he had 
any business with W. A. Bailey, the endorser, which induced him to take 
the bill. He said Mr. Bailey had sold some sugar for him. She asked him 
if Bailey lived in London ; he replied, at some inn or coffee-house, the name 
of which he did not recollect. He was then asked in what island or islands 
Mr. Bailey's property was situated ; he mentioned two or three islands in the 
West Indies, but he did not know in which of them Mr. Bailey was at that 
time. The prisoner then inquired where the bill was ; and being informed 
by the witness that it was in London, he said she must write to get it sent 
back. She, however, declared that siich an application would be unavailing, 
and the prisoner pressed her to go to London herself! She refused to go 
alone, and he entreated Mr. Evill to accompany her, saying, that he would 
give Mr. Evill £20 to defray the expenses of the journey, which he accord- 
ingly did. She set out at ten o'clock that night, accompanied by Mr. Evill, 
and obtained the bill from Messrs. Sloper and Allen, in whose custody it was, 
by paying three hundred guineas, which was all the money she then had at 
her bankers. She brought the bill back to Bath, having stopped but one day 
in London ; but the prisoner was not at Bath when she returned. He had 
left some property at her house with his wife, who had removed from Sidney- 
house with his clothes, &c. The bill remained after this in her custody 


about a twelvemonth, and was g-iven up to Mr. Evill by her brother. ]Mr. 
Dorant paid the whole of the debt due by the prisoner, on the 6th of May, 
1805; a few days after the prisoner finally left Bath. 

Upon the cross-examination of Mrs. Simeon, it appeared that she con- 
sidered the prisoner and Elizabeth Barnet as man and wife. It was not until 
May, 180G, that she appeared before the mayor of Bath against the prisoner, 
whom she knew to have been in the Fleet prison. 

Mr. Whelan deposed, that he was a clerk in the house of Messrs. Child 
and Co. The house had no correspondenst whatever at Grenada by the 
name of Willis and Co. and the acceptance which ajipeared on the face of 
the bill, was not the acceptance of Messrs. Child and Co. 

Mr. Luke Evill, solicitor for the prosecution, stated, that he had sent the 
bill from Bath to his agent in London, for the purpose of its being delivered 
to Mr. Dorant. 

Elizabeth Barnet, the next witness, said that she became acquainted with 
the prisoner in the month of September, 1804, when at Liverpool. About a 
fortnight after she saw him, she began to live with him, and continued till 
the IGth of June, 1805, during all which period she passed under the name 
of Mrs. Romney. She left Liverpool in tlie month of .January, 1805, and 
came to London with the prisoner. They then took lodgings at Mr. Dorant's 
hotel, in Albemarle-street. The account he gave of himself to her was, that 
he was a West Lidia planter, and that he had estates in Martinique and St. 
Kitt's. They remained between two and three months at Mr. Dorant's 
hotel, during which time they were not visited by anybody except a Mr. 
Hope, whom she remembered seeing with the prisoner. This Mr. Hope was 
not represented to her as being from Holland. She accompanied Mr. Romney 
to Bath, and on their arrival there they lodged at the White Hart inn, for 
about a fortnight, previous to their lodging at Madame Simeon's. 

Soon after their arrival at the White Hart, she went with the prisoner to 
Madame Simeon's to look at some laces and a black cloak. None of these 
articles, however, were purchased at that time by the prisoner, they being 
afterwards bought when she was not present. She heard the prisoner state 
to IMadame Simeon, that he would give her a bill of exchange, accepted by 
Child and Co. of London. She did not then see any bill in his possession, 
but saw him writinn- once three days afterwards, when he sent the witness 
for some red ink. She brought it to him, when he was still writing on the 
same piece of paper, and he soon afterwards wrote thereon with the red ink, 
and put it up into his pocket-book without saying any thing. The next day he 
told her she must go and walk with him to Madame Simeon's, as he was 
going to pay her for some articles he had bought, which, the witness had by 
that time got sent home to her. She accordingly accompanied him to Madame 
Simeon's shop, where she saw that lady, and her brother Mr. Du Hamel. A 
conversation then took place betwixt them, which being entirely in French, 
she did not understand. She, however, saw a paper given by the prisoner 
to ^Madame Simeon, which he took out of his pocket-book. This was the 
same paper which she had formerly seen him writing. A long conversation 
ensued after the bill was put down, and she then saw Romney put his name 
to it. The bill in question was here shown to the witness, and she distinctly 
identified it as being the same one she had formerly seen the prisoner write 
upon with red ink, and afterwards endorse with his name. 

Two or three days afterwards the prisoner left Bath for London, and the 
witness remained at Madame Simeon's. He returned on the Sunday night 
following, and remained at Madame Simeon's till next day. She observed 
that he was then very much disturbed, and she inquired the reason. The 
prisoner answered by saying, he must be hanged. He asked her to fetch him 
his writing desk, which she did. He then took out a large parcel of papers, 
and burnt them. She had no opportunity of seeing what those papers were. 
She asked him, were the papers any harm "? He said, yes, and that there 
was a paper which must not be seen. He further desired her to go to such 

, . FOR FORGERY. 41 

and such a trunk, and there she would find a plate, which he wished her to 
take the first opportunity of throwing into the river. This plate she found 
without any thing with it, and she put it into her own trunk amongst her 
wearing apparel. 

He wrote her a letter afterwards from Chippenham, requesting her to 
remember the river. (This letter not being produced, no interrogations were 
put concerning it.) She had not an opportunity of throwing this plate into the 
river, as she never went out but under Madame Simeon's protection. She 
never lived with the prisoner since that day (June 6, 1805). She, however, 
remembered visiting him in the Fleet prison. 

She was soon afterwards arrested at Bath, at the prisoner's instance, for 
the sum of £20,320, and carried to Winchester jail, and afterwards removed 
to the King's Bench. She saw the prisoner on this occasion, and again at 
the Old Bailey, when he was examined as a witness against her on her trial. 

He then charged her with having robbed him on the 11th of June, 1805, 
of forty guineas and a diamond ring, when he was in the Fleet prison. 

This charge was totally without foundation, as was also the alleged debt 
of £20,320. She never had any transaction in her life to which such a charge 
could refer. She heard him also give his evidence at Westminster Hall. 
What she related concerning the bill in question, she most solemnly declared 
was the truth. On the interrogatories of Mr. Baron Thompson, the learned 
judge, she further added, that she could read writing pretty well : when she 
brought the red ink to the prisoner, she remembered asking him what he had 
written, and he said he was drawing on Child and Co. She then observed to 
him that what he had written with the red ink looked very handsome : this 
made her perfectly certain as to the bill produced on this trial, being the iden- 
tical bill she had seen the prisoner writing. Mr. Romney at that time thought 
she could not read writing ; he was then teaching her to write his name as 
he did, and she made considerable progress in imitating his hand. The bill 
upon which he wrote across with red ink was printed (meaning engraved) 
exactly as the one now produced. The next day, when she saw the bill given 
by the prisoner to Madame Simeon, she particularly remarked the date upon 
it being the same as that which she had formerly seen. 

The prisoner was called on for his defence, and, apparently with consider- 
able confidence and firmness, addressed the court, observing that the circum- 
stances attending the bill for which he stood charged, he could very well 
explain ; about the month of June, 1803, a quantity of coffee, rum, and sugar, 
the produce of his estates in the West Indies, were sold by his agent, a Mr. 
M'Claurin, to a gentleman of the name of William Anthony Bailey, for which 
he (Mr. Bailey) gave a bill of exchange, drawn by the house of Calvert and 
Simpson, of St. Christopher's in the West Indies, upon the house of Bond 
and Proctor, at Lancaster, at six months' date, for £218 16s. This bill he (the 
prisoner) consented to take as payment of the produce sold ; and coming to 
England upon business, he brought it with him. On being presented to the 
house of Bond and Proctor, acceptance was refused, and it was therefore noted, 
and returned to his agent in the West Indies in the year 1804, who, meeting with 
Mr. Bailey at St. Bartholomew's, received in lieu of the said bill a bond for 
£300, to answer the damage arising from the expense of protesting, &c. as well 
as the original sum. This bond was transmitted to him by his agent, who 
advised him, at the same time, that Mr. Bailey would be in England in the 
end of September, 1804, and that the transaction could be settled with himself. 

On Mr. Bailey's arrival in London, January, 1805, he (Romney) received 
a letter from him, addressed to him Vvhen at Liverpool, informing him of his 
readiness to settle the business. He (the prisoner) accordingly waited on 
Mr. Bailey at his lodgings. Craven-street, Strand, when he offered him some 
other bills of exchange, drawn and accepted by other houses in England, 
which he (the prisoner) did not object to, provided he knew the acceptors. 
Several bills were then produced, and among others that one in question for 
d2 6 


£420, which he consented to take from him, and pay him the difference, 
amounting to £'139 7s. The bill was then endorsed by Mr. Bailey to him, 
on his assurance that it was a good and valid draft on Messrs. Child and Co. 
It having then about seven or eight months to run, it became in a manner 
useless to him, as he could not get it discounted. Happening to be at Bath, 
he offered it to Mrs. Simeon, she having no objection to take it in payment 
of an account run up to £130 by the young woman who had accompanied 
him there. Mrs. Simeon agreed to account to him for the proceeds. Having 
occasion to go to London upon business, Mrs. Simeon offered him the use of 
an apartment for his trunks, &c., which he gladly accepted, and went off", 
leaving the young woman under the care of Mrs. Simeon. He was then 
lodging at Sidney-house ; and as he did not think it safe to leave his effects 
at a public hotel, he removed them to Mrs. Simeon's house in the Grove, 
Bath, in his own carriage, and by his own servants. As he could not get a 
large Bank of England note for £100 changed into small notes, he applied 
to Mrs. Simeon, who accommodated him with the loan of £30 in small Bank 
of England notes, and at the same time he endorsed the bill for £420 to that 
lady, in the presence of her brother, who off"ered him more money in country 
bank-notes, which he refused, as he only wanted sufficient to pay the 
expenses of his journey to London. After leaving his address with Mrs. 
Simeon, he was accompanied by her brother to the mail coach. The address 
he gave was, Dorant's Hotel, or at Harman and Co.'s, Old Jewry. 

After being a few hours in town, he was arrested at the suit of his jeweller, 
Mr. Davis, of Sackville-street, for a sum of nearly £700, which he had 
refused to pay, on account of the greater part of the charge being for diamonds, 
sent to him at Bath against his positive orders. ]Mr. Dorant, the hotel keeper, 
offered, unsolicited, to become his bail in the action ; so that he was released 
from the lock-up-house, and went to Dorant's, where he found a letter from 
Mrs. Simeon, apprizing him of the bill being a forgery, and requiring his return 
to Bath, or to advise her what she was to do in the business. He was then 
extremely ill of a fever, created by the agitation of having been arrested ; but 
notwithstanding his situation, he immediately set olf to Bath, after writing her 
an answer by the mail two or three hours subsequent to the receipt of her letter. 

On seeing Mrs. Simeon and her brother, the forgery became the subject of 
discussion. He avowed that he was then ready to reclaim the endorsement, 
and he tendered back to Mrs. Simeon the £30 or £35 which he had borrowed 
of her. She appeared to expect that he would lend her about £430, which 
he refused, as he had not so much money about him. He told her solicitor, 
who was present, that he was perfectly ready to account for the bill having 
come into his possession ; and, therefore, that he had little to apprehend from 
any criminal prosecution by Messrs. Child and Co. He referred Mrs. 
Simeon and her brother to Mr. Hope, of Harley-street, and to Messrs. Harman 
and Co., of the Old Jewry, for his character, he being personally known to 
them. He had further recommended to Mrs. Simeon and her solicitor to 
make the necessary inquiries respecting the bill ; and, therefore, wished them 
to go to London, and had readily paid th-jir expenses. 

He also observed, as a proof of his innocence, that he might, when in the 
rules of the Fleet, have made his escape, had he been conscious of any guilt ; 
and concluded his defence by a long detail of circumstances, for the purpose 
of showing that the prosecution was founded in malice. 

One immaterial witness was called on the part of the prisoner. 

Baron Thompson summed up in a very able manner, and recapitulated 
with great minuteness the whole of the evidence. The jury, having consulted 
for a few minutes, returned a verdict of — Guilty of forg'mg the acceptance, 
and of uttering it, knowing it to be forged. 

The trial lasted nearly twelve hours, and the court was crowded to excess. 
Rouvelett was executed at Ilchester, pursuant to his sentence, September 3, 
1806. But he asserted his innocence to the last moment. 



22, 1807. 

Mr. Steele was proprietor of a lavender-water warehouse, in Catharine- 4jj 

street. Strand ; and on the day preceding his murder, November 5, he went 
to Bedfont, where he had a plantation of lavender ; but not returning to his . 
house in town according to his usual custom, his friends became anxious 
for his safety. A strict search was set on foot, and, after exploring different 
parts of Hounslow-heath, he was found buried under a bush ; part of his - 

forehead being entirely cut away, and his head wounded in many places, as 
was conjectured, with a bayonet. It was also discovered that, on his return 
from Bedfont, he could not procure any kind of carriage, and consequently 
was obliged to proceed to town on foot. His boots and hat were taken 
away; his pockets were cut entirely off; and, from the circumstance of a 
military hat being found at the place, no doubt was entertained that he was 
murdered by some soldiers. 

Several persons were taken up on suspicion of being the perpetrators, and ' ' 
among them were two labourers, who were heard quarrelling at Bristol, and 
accusing each other of shocking crimes ; but it appearing that they were 
both innocent of this charge, a collection was made for them in the office. 
Sir R. Ford ordered them three guineas, and a pass to Liverpool, indicative 
of tbeir innocence. Still no conclusive evidence or fact could be brought 
home, so as to warrant the detention of any person for the crime, and the 
public had to regret that the offenders remained undiscovered. 

The following circumstance, about four years afterwards, led to the appre- 
hension of John HoUoway and Owen Haggerty. A man named Benjamin 
Hanfield, who had been convicted at the Old Bailey of grand larceny, was 
sentenced to seven years' transportation. He was conveyed on board a hulk 
at Woolwich, to await his departure for New South Wales ; but having been l _, 

taken with a severe illness, and tortured in his mind by the recollection of #«*. 

the murder, about which he constantly raved, he said he wished to make a 
discovery before he died. A message was immediately despatched to the 
police-magistrates at Bow-street, to communicate the circumstance, and an a^ 

officer was sent to bring him before them. When he was brought on shore, 
he was obliged to remain several days, his illness not permitting his imme- 
diate removal. On his arrival in town, the magistrates sent him, in custody 
of an officer, to Hounslow-heath. He there pointed out the fatal spot where 
the murder was perpetrated, and related all the circumstances which he 
alleged to have attended it ; and as his evidence implicated Haggerty and 
Holloway, measures were taken to apprehend them. Several private exami- 
nations of all the parties took place. Hanfield was admitted king's evidence, 
and the public once more cherished a hope that the murderers would meet 
the punishment they deserved. 

The indictment having been read, and the prisoners having pleaded not 
guilty, Mr. Gurney, as counsel for the prosecution, opened the case. He 
stated to the jury, the charge upon Avhich the prisoners stood at the bar. He 
said that, doubtless, the recollection of the circumstances of this melancholy 
transaction was fresh in their memory ; he only mentioned this, that before » _ 

they went into the box, they would divest their minds from any feelings ^i. »i^ '■ 
arising from the nature of the crime. He then stated the circumstances of the 
deceased himself, before he entered into a detail of the evidence. Mr. Steele, 
he said, had left his house in town on Friday, the 5th of November, 1802, ^ 

giving his family to understand that he should return next day. He slept at 
Feltham that night ; and left his house at Feltham on Saturday evening 


about seven o'clock, dressed in a drab-coloured great coat, boots, and a hat ; 
he did not return to town that night, nor on .Sunday. This caused alarm, and 
his brother-in-law went to Feltham, and found that he left his house on 
Saturday. A number of persons were despatched to look for liim in different 
directions. After a search of some time in various parts of Hounslow-heath, 
in a ditch, situated in a clump of trees, at the distance of about five or six 
hundred yards from the barracks at Feltham, the body was found, with the 
face covered with blood ; a violent blow seemed to have been inflicted on the 
back part of the head, with a fracture on the forehead, and a leathern strap 
tied very tight round the neck ; and by the side of the body were found a 
large bludgeon, a pair of old shoes, and an old hat trimmed with worsted 
binding; at some distance, on the other side of the road, were discovered 
several marks of blood. The body seemed to have been dragged some dis- 
tance. Diligent search was made, but the perpetrators were not discovered. 
Towards the close of the year 180G, information was received by Mr. Nares, 
that a person of the name of Hanfield, who was convicted in this court of 
stealing last sessions, had, while in confinement, dropped some expressions 
indicating something relative to this event. Application was made to the 
secretary of state to procure his majesty's pardon for him, he being then 
under the sentence of transportation, and not capable of being received as a 
witness in the trial of his accomplices. His majesty was accordingly gra- 
ciously pleased to grant him a full pardon, and a proper officer was sent to con- 
duct him from the hulks at Portsmouth ; whence he was conveyed to town, 
and brought before the magistrates at Worship-street. 

Benjamin Hanfield, the accomplice, was examined, and deposed nearly as 
follows : — 

I have known Haggerty eight or nine years, and Holloway six or seven. 
We were accustomed to meet at the Black Horse, and Turk's Head, public- 
houses, in Dyot-street. I was in their company in the month of November, 
1S02. Holloway, just before the murder, called me out from the Turk's 
Head, and asked me if I had any objection to be in a good thing'? 1 replied, 
I had not. He said, it was a " iVvj Tohij,"" meaning a foot-pad robbery. I 
asked when and where. He said he would let me know. We parted, and 
two days after we met again, and Saturday, the 6th of November, was 
appointed. I asked who was to go with us "? He replied that Haggerty had 
agreed to make one. We all three met on the Saturday at the Black Horse, 
when Holloway said, our business is to " ««ri-e" a gentleman on Hounslow- 
heath, who, I understand, travels that road with property. We then drank 
for three or four hours, and about the middle of the day we set off" for Houns- 
low. We stopped at the Bell public-house, and took some porter. We 
proceeded from thence upon the road towards Bedfont, and expressed our hope 
that we should get a good booty. We stopped near the eleventh mile-stone, 
and secreted ourselves in a clump of trees. W'liile there, the moon got up, 
and Holloway said we had come too soon. After loitering about a consi- 
derable time, Holloway said he heard a footstep, and we proceeded towards 
Bedfont. We presently saw a man coming towards us, and, on approaching 
him, we ordered him to stop, which he immediately did. Holloway went 
round him, and told him to deliver. He said we should have his money, 
and hoped we would not ill-use him. The deceased put his hand in his 
pocket, and gave Haggerty his money. I demanded his pocket-book. He 
replied that he had none. Holloway insisted that he had a hook, and if he 
did not deliver it, he would knock him down. I then laid hold of his legs. 
Holloway stood at his head, and swore if he cried out he would knock out 
his brains. The deceased again said, he hoped we would not ill-use him. 
Haggerty proceeded to search him, when the deceased made some resistance, 
and struggled so much that we got across the road. He cried out severely, 
and as a carriage was coming up, Holloway said, " Take care, I'll silence 
the b r," and immediately struck him several violent blows on the head 


and body. The deceased heaved a heavy groan, and stretched him- 
self out lifeless. I felt alarmed, and said, "John, you have killed the 
man:" Holloway replied, that it was a lie, for he was only stunned. 1 
said I would stay no longer, and immediately set off towards London, 
leaving Holloway and Haggerty with the body. I came to Hounslow, and 
stopped at the end of the town nearly an hour. Holloway and Haggerty 
then came up, and said they had done the trick, and, as a token, put the 
deceased's hat into my hand. The hat Holloway went down in was like a 
soldier's hat. I told Holloway it was a cruel piece of business, and that I 
was sorry I had any hand in it. We all turned down a lane, and returned to 
London. As we came along, I asked Holloway if he had got the pocket- 
book. He replied it was no matter, for as I had refused to share the danger, 
I should not share the booty. We came to the Black Horse in Dyot-street, 
had half a pint of gin, and parted. Haggerty went down in shoes, but I don't 
know if he came back in them. The next day I observed Holloway had a 
hat upon his head, which was too small for him. I asked him if it was the 
same he got the preceding night. He said it was. We met again on the 
Monday, when I told Holloway that he acted imprudently in wearing the 
hat, as it might lead to a discovery. He put the hat into my hand, and 1 
observed the name of Steele in it. I repeated my fears. At night Holloway 
brought the hat in a handkerchief, and we went to Westminster Bridge, 
filled the hat with stones, and, having- tied the lining over it, threw it into the 

The witness, being cross-examined, said, he had made no other minutes of 
the transactions he had been detailing, than what his conscience took cogni- 
zance of. It was accident that led to its disclosure. He was talking with 
other prisoners in Newgate of particular robberies that had taken place ; and 
the Hounslow robbery and murder being stated amongst others, he inadver- 
tently said, that there were only three persons who knew of that transaction. 
The remark was circulated and much noticed, and a rumour ran through the 
prison that he was about to turn "uoie,-" and he was obliged to hold his 
tongue, lest he should be ill-used. When at Portsmouth, on board the 
hulks, the compunctions of conscience came upon him, and he was obliged to 
dissipate his thoughts by drinking, to prevent him divulging all he knew. 
At last he was questioned by Sir John Carter; and at length an officer 
arrived from London, and he made a full confession. He admitted that he 
had led a vicious life, that he had been concerned in several robberies, and 
had entered and deserted from several regiments. He had served in the 
East and West London militias, had enlisted in the 9th and 14th light dragoons, 
and had been in the army of reserve. He -added, that he was ashamed and 
sorry at what he had been, and would endeavour to mend his life in future. 

John Vickery stated, that he was an officer belonging to Worship-street, 
and that, in consequence of information received by John Nares, Esq. the 
superintend ant of the office in Worship-street, he had been sent to Ports- 
mouth to bring up Hanfield, who was then confined on board the hulks, 
waiting to be transported with others, pursuant to his sentence. He was 
immediately delivered into his custody by the captain of the hulks, and they 
returned to London. As they passed across the heath of Hounslow, on the 
top of the coach, Hanfield pointed to a spot near a clump of trees, just 
at the eleven mile-stone, which he said was the place where the murder had 
been committed ; but they had then no further conversation on the subject, 
as they were surrounded by people on the top of the coach. Hanfield, on his 
arrival in town, underwent an examination ; in consequence of which he and 
the witness went together to Hounslow. They stopped at the Bell Inn, 
whence they proceeded to the heath; when Hanfield again pointed out the 
place where the crime was perpetrated, which the witness thought exactly 
the same as that pointed out by the former witnesses, detailing the circum- 
stances of the murder previous to his escape from his companions, in almost 


the same words as he had described them to the court. The witness and he 
returned to town. Soon after, the witness apprehended Holloway at Brent- 
ford, during the late election, and brought him to town. When he was 
examined before the presiding magistrate of Worship-street office, he declared 
he W"as totally innocent ; but added, " if thej' would let him go, he would 
down on his knees to both the magistrate and the witness," The prisoner 
Holloway was remanded for further examination. 

The witness went down to Deal, where he apprehended the prisoner Hag- 
gerty, on board the Shannon frigate, as a marine. When the witness appre- 
hended him, he was in a very bad state of health, so much so, that he was 
obliged to be left behind, not being able to bear the fatigue of removal. The 
witness took an opportunity of asking him, in the presence of his captain, 
where he had been about three years ago 1 The prisoner answered, he was 
then employed in London as a day-labourer. The witness then asked "him, 
where he had been that time four years'? The prisoner directly turned pale, 
and would have fainted away, had not water been administered to him. 
Soon after, his health was so far restored as to permit his being removed to 
town, when he and the other prisoner underwent several examinations. 

T. Croker, a Bow-street officer, recollected seeing, about four years ago, 
Haggerty and Hanfield together, near the Seven Dials, and in the Turk's 
Head. In this he was corroborated by the statement of one Limerick, 
another officer. 

J. M'Donald, keeper of the Black Horse, Dyot-street, knew both the pri- 
soners and the prosecutor Hanfield; had frequently seen Hanlield and Hag- 
gerty in the same box in his tap-room. 

William Beale, keeper of the Turk's Head, said, he had seen them also at 
the same time in his tap-room, but was not certain of their being comrades. 

John Peterson had been a pot-boy at the Turk's Head, and had frequently 
drawn beer for the prisoners ; but could not say they were on terms of inti- 
macy together. 

John Sawyer lived, in 1803, at Hounslow, at the Bell, where he saw the 
two prisoners frequently ; but could not be certain of seeing them in company 

John Nares, Esq. the magistrate, said, that the prisoners were examined 
by him apart, when Hanfield was produced in evidence against them. He 
then read from a paper the examination of Haggerty, in which he denied 
knowing any thing of either Hanfield or Holloway, or being at Turk's Head 
or Black Horse porter-houses. Haggerty acknowledged he had been in 
confinement in July, 1802, in Tothili-tields. After this liberation, he said, 
he worked for some time with Mr. Smith, of Castle-street, as a plasterer ; 
that his working-dress was usually a green velveteen jacket and small 
clothes. Being confronted afterwards with Mr. Smith, who denied his 
having ever been employed by him, he said — " That since they had bothered 
him so about it, he would give them no information on the subject." The 
same paper stated, that Holloway had acknowledged he knew Hanfield and 
Haggerty ; but had never drank in their company ; had never been at Houns- 
low in his life. He alleged he had worked for a Mr. Rose, and others, in 
November, 1803, which, on application, was found to be inaccurate, as he 
had not worked for them till March, 1803. 

James Bishop, a police-officer, stated, that in the rear of the police-office 
in Worship-street are some strong rooms, for the safe keeping of prisoners 
pending their successive examinations. In two of these rooms, adjacent to 
each other, and separated by a strong partition, the prisoners were separately 
confined, and immediately Ijehind these rooms is a privy. In this privy he 
took post regularly, after each successive day's examination ; and, as the 
privy went behind both rooms, he could distinctly overhear the conversation 
of the prisoners, as they spoke pretty audible to each other from either side 
of the partition. Of this conversation he took notes, which were afterwards 


copied out fairly, and proved before the magistrates ; which he, on this occa- 
sion, read as his evidence in court. 

These conversations extended to a very considerable length ; but the mate- 
rial points were few. They showed, however, from the words of the pri- 
soners' own conversation, that all they had said before the magistrates, in 
the denial of any acquaintance with each other or with Hanfield, was totally 
false, and a mere stratagem to baffle the testimony of the latter, who they 
hoped had secured his own execution by confessing his guilt, without being 
able to prove theirs ; for they were confident the magistrates would not be- 
lieve his testimony ; and that there was no other witness to prove any clue to 
the fact, or that saw them together near Hounslow, where, from the whole 
connected tenor of their conversation, it was clear they had been on the night 
of the murder. But one strong point seemed to remove every doubt : Hag- 
gerty asked Holloway, after one of the latter examinations, " Where did 
Hanfield say we had the gin that night, after we came to townl" To 
which Holloway answered, " At the Black Horse, in Dyot-street." Hag- 
gerty then replied, " It must be at the Black-Horse we had the gin, sure 

John Smith, a coachman to the Gosport coach, in the month of November, 
1802, near eight o'clock in the evening of the above-mentioned day, heard as 
he passed across Hounslow-heath, on the right-hand side of the road, near 
the eleven mile-stone, two groans, the last more faint than the other ; on 
which he remarked to some one on the outside of the coach, " that there was 
something desperate carrying on there." 

Isaac Clayton, beadle of Hounslow, said, he received a pair of shoes and 
a stick from some person he does not recollect, just after the murder of Mr. 
Steele : he recollected, near six years ago seeing Holloway in company with 
a man of the same name, who had a wooden leg, about the town of Houns- 
low ; and had seen him also at Brentford election, and other places. The 
prisoner himself acknowledged he knew him, when examined in Worship- 

Joseph Townsend, police-officer of Worship-street, produced a huge knotty 
bludgeon, a pair of shoes, and a hat, which had been given several years ago 
to Clayton by Hughes, and was delivered to him by Clayton. 

J. Blackman, an officer, knew Haggerty seven years, Hanfield five years, 
and Holloway a year and a half. About four years ago, he had seen often them 
together at the Turk's Head, when he conversed with Haggerty, and observed 
to him he had been lately in a good thing, as his dress was much improved ; 
the prisoner said, he had left it all off now, as he was serving a plasterer 
near Hounslow. He was dressed in a green velveteen jacket and small 

A hat was then produced in court, which had been the property of the 
deceased, by whom it was given to a servant man, who had since worn it 
almost to rags. The hat had been very much widened in the wearing, and, 
when placed on Holloway's head; appeared rather too large for him. 

William Robinson, hatter to the deceased, stated that the hat must have 
been enlarged by wearing, as he had Mr. Steele's measure in 1802, and could 
answer for it, that the deceased's hat must nearly fit the prisoner Holloway, 
as their heads were nearly the same size. 

William Britton, shoemaker, knew well the deceased's measure, and 
thought his boots would fit the prisoner Haggerty. The shoes produced in 
court, he said, he had tried on the prisoner, and found them rather too large ; 
but added that it was plain from the manner the hind-quarter of the shoe had 
fallen inwards, that they were too large for their original wearer. 

The prosecution being closed, the prisoners were called on to make their 

Haggerty protested he was completely innocent of the charge, was totally 
ignorant of the prosecutor Hanfield, denied ever being at Hounslow, and en- 



deavoured to point out some inconsistencies in the evidence which had been 
adduced by Hanfield. 

Holloway declared he was equally innocent of the charge ; but admitted he 
had been at Hounslow more than once, might have been in the company of 
the prisoner Haggerty and Hanfield, but was not acquainted with either of 
» them. 

The jury retired for about a quarter of an hour, and returned with a verdict 
of Guilty against both the prisoners. 

The recorder immediately passed sentence in the most solemn and impres- 
sive manner, and the unhappy men were ordered for execution on the follow- 
ing Monday morning. They went from the bar protesting their innocence, 
and apparently careless of the miserable and ignominious fate that awaited 

During the whole of Sunday night, the convicts were engaged in prayer, 
never slept, but broke the awful stillness of midnight by frequent protestations 
of reciprocal innocence. Holloway delivered, in the most solemn manner, the 
following energetic address : " Gentlemen, I am quite innocent of this affair. 
I never was with Hanfield ; nor do I know the spot. I will kneel and swear 
it." He then knelt down, and imprecated curses on his head if he were not 
innocent, and expressed, by God, I am innocent. 

After the executioner tied the fatal noose to Haggerty, he brought up John 
Holloway, who wore a smock-frock and jacket, as it had been stated by the 
approver that he did at the time of the murder ; he had also a white cap on, 
was pinioned, and had a halter round his neck ; he had his hat in his hand ; 
and mounting the scaffold, he jumped and made an awkward bow, and said, 
" I am innocent, innocent, by God !" He then turned round, and bowing, 
made use of the same expressions, " Innocent, innocent, innocent ! Gentk- 
nie.n! — No verdict! no verdict! no verdict! Gentlemen — Innocent! inno- 
cent /" 

The crowd which assembled to witness this execution was unparalleled, 
being, according to the best calculation, nearly forty thousand persons. About 
eight o'clock not an inch of ground was unoccupied in view of the platform. 
The pressure of the crowd was such, that before the malefactors appeared, 
numbers of persons were crying out in vain to escape from it : the attempt 
only tended to increase the confusion. Several females of low stature, who 
had been so imprudent as to venture amongst the mob, were in a dismal 
situation : their cries were dreadful. Some who could be no longer supported 
by the men were suffered to fall, and were trampled to death. This was also 
the case with several men and boys. In all parts there were continued cries 
0^ Murder ! Murder ! particularly from the female part of the spectators and 
children, some of whom were seen expiring without the possibility of obtaining 
the least assistance, every one being employed in endeavouring to preserve his 
own life. The most affecting scene was witnessed at Green-Arbour Lane, 
nearly opposite the debtors' door. The lamentable catastrophe which took 
place near this spot, was attributed to the circumstance of two pie-men attend- 
ing there to dispose of their pies, and one of them having his basket over- 
thrown, some of the mob not being aware of what had happened, and at the 
same time severely pressed, fell over the basket and the man at the moment 
he was picking it up, together with its contents. Those who once fell were 
never more enabled to rise, such was the pressure of the crowd. At this fatal 
place, a man of the name of Herrington was thrown down, who had in his 
hand his younger son, a fine boy about twelve years of age. The j'outh was 
soon trampled to death ; the father recovered, thoutjh much bruised, and was 
amongst the wounded in St. Bartholomew's Hospital. A woman, who was 
so imprudent as to bring with her a child at the breast, was one of the num- 
ber killed : whilst in the act of falling, she forced the child into the arms of 
the^man nearest to her, requesting him, for God's sake, to save its life; the 
man, finding it required all his exertion to preserve himself, threw the infant 



from hirn, but it was fortunately caught at a distance by anotner man, who 
findino- it difficult to ensure its safety or his own, disposed of it in a similar 
way. The child was again caught by a person, who contrived to struggle 
with it to a cart, under which he deposited it until the danger was over, and 
the mob had dispersed. 

In other parts the pressure was so great, that seven persons lost their lives 
by suffocation. The body of the crowd, as with one convulsive struggle for 
life, fought furiously with each other ; consequently the weakest, particularly 
the women, fell a sacrifice. A cart, which was overloaded with spectators, 
broke down, and some of the persons falling from the vehicle were trampled 
under foot, and never recovered. During the hour the malefactors hung, little 
assistance could be afforded to the unhappy sufferers ; but, after the bodies 
were cut down, and the gallows was removed to the Old Bailey yard, the 
marshals and constables cleared the streets where the catastrophe had occur- 
red, when nearly one hundred persons, dead or in a state of insensibility, 
were found in the street. Twenty-seven bodies were taken to St. Bartholo- 
mew's Hospital ; four to St. Sepulchre's Church ; one to the Swan on Snov,'- 
Hill ; one to a public-house opposite St. Andrew's Church, Holborn ; one, 
an apprentice, to his master's, Mr. Broadwood, piano-forte maker, in Golden- 
square ; a mother was seen to carry away the body of her dead son ; and Mr. 
Harrison, a respectable gentleman, was taken to his house at Holloway A sai- 
lor boy was killed opposite Newgate, by suffocation ; in a small bag which he 
carried was a quantity of bread and cheese, and it is supposed he came some 
distance to witness the execution. After the dead, dying, and wounded were 
carried away, there was picked up a cart-load of shoes, hats, petticoats, and 
other articles of wearing apparel. Until four o'clock in the afternoon, most 
of the surrounding houses contained some person in a wounded state, who 
were afterwards taken away by their friends on shutters or in hackney 
coaches. At Bartholomew's Hospital, after the bodies of the dead were 
stripped and washed, they were ranged round a ward, with sheets over them, 
and their clothes put as pillows under their heads ; their faces were uncover- 
ed, and there was a rail along the centre of the room ; the persons who were 
admitted to see the shocking spectacle, and identified many, went up on one 
side and returned on the other. Until two o'clock, the entrances to the hos- 
pital were beset with mothers weeping for their sons ! wives for their hus- 
bands ! and sisters for their brothers ! and various individuals for their 
relatives and friends ! 



The following case is interesting chiefly from the complete perplexity in 
which the reader is left at the conclusion, as to the agent or the motives which 
led to the crime, after his curiosity has been raised by glimpses of light which 
seemfor a time likely to lead to the truth, but prove at last to be rnere ignes 
futui, successively disappearing, and leaving the matter involved in the 
same darkness and mystery as before. 

The event to which we allude took place in 1817, in the town of M . 

In that place resided a goldsmith named Christopher Ruprecht, aged upwards 
of sixty; rich, illiterate, quarrelsome, covetous; rude in speech, vulgar in 
his habits, whose chief indulgence consisted in frequenting low ale-houses, 
and mingling in such haunts with the most disreputable of the lower classes. 
His selfishness and his repulsive manners had alienated from him all his 
E 7 


relations, ■with the exception of a sister and a daughter, who was married in 
the town, and who still continued, as much from interest perhaps as affection, 
nc'twithstandino- his peculiarities of temper, to visit him regularly. 

Ruprecht had for some time past selected, as the favourite inn in which he 
chose to take his ease, a small ale-house at tlie end of a dark winding lane, 
'^ '' which, from its gloomy situation, bore the appropriate title of Hell. About 
half-past eight o'clock on the evening of the 7th of February, 1817, he re- 
paired thitber according to custom, took liis seat among tbe circle which 
generally assembled round the inn fire on the first floor, and in his usual petu- 
lant and ill-tempered style, joined in the conversation, which was prolonged 
till past ten o'clock, when Ruprecht despatched the landlord to the ground 
floor for a further supply of beer. As tbe landlord was reascending the stairs, 
a voice from the passage below was beard inquiring if Ruprecht was above ; 
and on the landlord answering (without turning his head) that be was, he 
was requested by the jierson below to desire bim to come down. No sooner 
was tbe message delivered to Ruprecht, than he rose and hastily left the 
room. A minute had hardly elapsed when tbe company beard distinctly 
from tbe j)assage below loud groans, followed by a sound as of a heavy body 
falling in the passage. All hurried down stairs to the number of eleven. 
Ruprecht was found lying near tbe house-door still alive, but covered with 
blood flowing from a large wound on bis head ; his leather cap at a little 
distance, which had been cut through by the blow. The only sounds which 
he uttered, when lifted up, were, " The villain — the villain with the axe." 
And once afterwards, " My daughter, my daughter." She was imme- 
diately sent for ; but bis mind apparently wandered, and he did not recog- 
nise her. 

No trace of the assassin appeared in tbe neighbourhood ; no weapon was 
found in the passage or near the door. Tbe wound, when examined, was 
found to be one inflicted with a sharp instrument — to be about four inches 
long, extending along the top of the head, but sinking towards the back, 
upon the left side of the skull, and deeper at tbe bottom than the top. That 
it had not been given in tbe jjassage seemed pretty clear; first, from the cir- 
cumstance that a lamp always burned there, and servants were constantly 
crossing and recrossing ; secondly, that to have inflicted such a wound, the 
blow must have fallen with great force from behind and from above ; while 
the lowness of the roof, which any one might touch with his hand, would 
have rendered it im])ossible for tbe murderer, in such a position, to have raised 
his arm so as to have directed his weapon with any force against his victim. 
From tbe position, too, in which Ruprecht was found, immediately behind the 
house-door, which was open, the probal)ility was, that the fatal blow had 
been given v.dthout the door, and that Ruprecht, after receiving it, had been 
able to stagger back into tbe passage. Tbe house, as already mentioned, 
'•^ stood at the extreme corner of an obscure lane, to which there was no access 
from the other side. Two steps led to the door in front, and on tbe left side 
of these steps was a stone seat, about two feet in height, and standing on 
these steps apparently, the nmrderer had awaited bim, and when the gold- 
smith came to the steps in front of the door, directed his blow at him from 
this " bad eminence" behind. 

With what weapon the blow bad been inflicted was not so clear. The 
unconnected expressions of Ruprecht seemed to point at an axe as the instru 
ment; but the opinion of the medical inspector rather was, that the blow had 
been given by a heavy sabre, and by aa experienced band. 

In the mean time all that could be done further was to wait, in hopes that 
the wounded man would so far recover his senses as to be able to throw 
some liglit upon this atrocious deed. On tbe evening of the following day, 
he appeared sufficiently in his senses to warrant the judge in commencing his 
examination. The wounded man's answers were given in monosyllables. He 
was asked, " Who struck you 1" — "Schmidt." — "What is this Schmidt — 


where does he reside T' — " In the Most.''''* — " With what did he strike you V 
— " A hatchet." — " How did you know him V — " By his voice." — " Was he 
indebted to you V He shook his head. " What was his motive ]" — " Quar- 
rel." From the state of exhaustion in which he appeared to be, the judge 
did not interrog-ate him further at the time as to the nature of the quarrel. 
To the first and second interrogatories, which were repeated, he again dis- 
tinctly answered " Schmidt — wood-cutter." And he gave the same answer to 
similar questions put to him afterwards, in presence of the officials, by his 
daughter, sister, and son-in-law. 

Who then was Schmidt, whom the dying man had denounced as his mur- 
derer? Schmidt is as common a name in Germany as Smith in England ; and 
accordingly it turned out that there v/ere three Schmidts in the town, all 
wood-cutters. One of them, Abraham Christopher Schmidt, resided in the 
Hohen Pflaster; the other two, who were brothers, lived in the street called 
the Most, or the Walsh, to which the wounded man appeared to have alluded. 
With regard to the first, it was ascertained that he laboured under the charge 
of having been in early youth connected with a gang of thieves, and having 
been imprisoned in consequence; the second, who went by the name of the 
Great Schmidt, had been an old acquaintance of liuprecht's, but had ceased 
to be so in consequence of having given evidence against him in an action 
of damages ; the third, who was distinguished from his brother by the name 
of the Little Schmidt, was also an acquaintance of Ruprecht's, but one with 
whom he had never appeared to be on good terms. 

Before proceeding to the arrest of any of these individuals, Ruprecht, who 
had in the mean time undergone the operation of trepanning, was again exa- 
mined. When asked, in addition to the former questions, — to which he gave 
the same answers, — which of the Schmidts he meant, the Great or the Little, 
he made some attempts to speak, but failed. When asked again whether he 
resided on the Most, — he was silent. Was it upon the Hohen Pflaster ? 
He answered with difficulty, but distinctly, " Yes ;" and then relapsed into 

As he thus wavered between the inhabitants of the Most and that of the 
Hohen Pflaster, it was evident that all the three Schmidts must be taken into 
custody. They were accordingly apprehended, with the view of being con- 
fronted with the wounded man, and the murderer, if possible, identified by 
him. When they were brought into his room, Ruprecht was sensible, but 
unable to lift up his eyes, so that the main object of the interview was baf- 
fled. There were differences, however, in the behaviour of these individuals, 
which, while they tended to avert suspicion from two of them, directed it 
with increasing force against the third. The two brothers appeared perfectly 
composed ; they spoke to Ruprecht, called him by name, and expressed their 
sympathy for his situation. Not so the Schmidt of the Hohen Pflaster. He 
seemed agitated and restless ; when asked if he knew the person in bed, he 
first said he did not, then that it was Ruprecht, and that he knew him well ; 
first, that he remained with his mother-in-law, on the evening of the murder, 
till eleven ; then, that he had left his house at nine, and gone instantly to 
bed. He protested his innocence and ignorance of the whole matter, and 
appealed to the testimony of his mother-in-law, his wife, and his neighbours. 
His evident agitation, and his contradictions, which he did not make any 
farther attempt to reconcile, appeared to the judge sufficient grounds for sub- 
jecting him to the provisional arrest, and on the tenth of February he was 
committed to prison. 

On the following day all hope of eliciting further information from Ru- 
precht was put an end to by his death. After the interview already men- 
tioned, he never recovered his senses. 

Subsequent investigations tended to increase the suspicions against Chris- 

* The name of a street in the town, also called the Walch. 


topher Schmidt which his behaviour on the first occasion had awakened. On 
inspecting bis house, the handle of his axe, near the blade, was found to be 
streaked with red spots resembling' blood. The truth of the report as to his 
former imprisonment for theft he did not attempt to deny ; though he alleged 
that he had been merely made the innocent instrument of conveying the 
stolen property into town. His inconsistencies and contradictions on his first 
summary examination were still more startling and irreconcilable than those 
into which he had run when confronted with Ruprecht. When asked to 
explain how he knew the wounded man to be Ruprecht, since he stated he 
had never seen him before, he gave no other explanation except that he had 
heard before of the accident which had befallen him, as it was the general 
theme of conversation at the Boar.* To the question where he had been on 
Friday night, he first answered that he had been along with his wife and child 
in the house of his mother-in-law, where they were accustomed to work in 
the evenings, to avoid the expense of light at home, till nine o'clock, when 
he had taken liis child home, and gone to bed, where he had remained till 
next morning at seven ; that his wife had not returned till ten, having had to 
work a little longer with her mother, and intrusted the child to his care. 
" But," said the judge, " yesterday you said you did not return till eleven 
o'clock." — "Yes, at eleven — 1 returned with my wife." — "A few minutes 
ago you said you returned at nine, and that your wife remained behind you ; 
now how do you explain this?" — "My neighbours will testify I returned at 
nine. My wife remained for a short time behind me — she returned after ten, 
when I was asleep ; she must have come in by using the key of the street 
door." — " The key of the street door, you said a little ago, was in your 
mother's possession, in the house ; how could your wife, who Avas at her 
mother's, have used it to obtain admission ]" — " She had the key with her. 
I said my wife returned along with me at nine o'clock, assisted me to put the 
child to bed. then took the house-key off the table, and returned to her mo- 
ther's. She came back at eleven o'clock at night." — " Just now you said at 
ten." — " I was asleep ; it may have been ten." 

These irreconcilable contradictions as to the hour at Avhich he himself had 
returned — which he sometimes stated to be nine, sometimes eleven ; as to his 
returning alone or in company with his wife; as to the hour at which she 
had returned, and the mode by which she had obtained admittance ; his pre- 
vious imprisonment; his conduct when confronted with Ruprecht; and 
during his examinations his downcast and suspicious look ; his anxiety to 
avoid any lengthened explanations ; the spots upon his axe ; the dying ex- 
pressions of Ruprecht as to the name and residence of his murderer; all 
these, taken together, formed a most suspicious combination of circumstances 
against Schmidt. 

On the other hand, the very grossness of these contradictions seemed to 
lead to the inference that they must have proceeded rather from want of me- 
mory, of intellect, or self-possession, than from a desire to pervert the truth. 
It was unlikely that any one but a person whose intellectual faculties were 
weakened or disordered either by natural deficiency or temporary anxiety and 
fear, or both, should in the course of half an hour vary his account of the 
time at which he returned home, from nine to eleven, from eleven to nine ; 
or at one moment represent himself as returning alone, the next in company 
with his wife. The report of his relations and neighbours proved that such 
was the character of Schmidt ; that his dulness of intellect almost amounted 
to idiocy ; and that his serious, quiet, sheepish manner had procured him the 
nickname of " Hammela," or the sheep. It was not difficult, then, to believe 
that a man, who, according to these accounts, never was able under any cir- 
cumstances to express himself clearly, or almost intelligibly, when suddenly 
apprehended, confronted with a dying man, imprisoned and examined, called 

* A little ale-house, in which he stated he had been the day after the event. 


upon to explain contradictions, should at once lose the little remnant of com- 
posure or intellect that remained to him, and answer without understanding 
the questions put to him, or the answers which he gave. For instance, his^ 
answer to the question how he recognised Ruprecht, whom he had never seen, 
illogical as it was, is intelligible enough when the character of the respond- 
ent is kept in view. All he meant to say probably was, that he knew that 
the person before him was Ruprecht, because he had heard before of the as- 
sassination, and that the wounded man was lying in the house where he had 
been brought to be confronted with him. As to the time and manner of his 
return, too, a confusion might not unnaturally arise in the mind of one so 
simple, between the hour at which he had himself returned, and that when 
his wife had last returned from her mother's house ; and although even then 
contradictions existed, many of the circumstances which at first sight ap- 
peared inconsistent in his narrative might be explained by supposing the 
true state of the case to have been this : that he and his wife had left her 
mother's together at nine, with the child, and gone home; that after her hus- 
band and the child were in bed, his wife had, as he stated, returned to her 
mother's to finish her work, and had finally returned home between ten and 
eleven o'clock. 

This was in fact substantially proved by the investigation that followed. 
His mother-in-law, Barbara Lang, stated that the husband and wife were 
accustomed to pass the evening in her house to save fire and light; that they 
had let\ the house about half-past nine, accompanied by the child ; that her 
daughter had afterwards returned, and remained with her for about an hour 
and a half, when she went home. Cunegunda, the wife of the accused, 
though she represented the hour at which they left her mother's house as 
earlier than that which her mother had indicated, agreed with her in other 
particulars. She had accompanied her husband and child home, had seen 
them in bed, and then taking with her the only light they had in the house, 
had gone back to her mother's. On her return after ten, she had been let in 
by the woman of the house, had found her husband asleep, and neither of 
them had left the house afterwards till next morning. Barbara Kraus, the 
landlady, had seen Schmidt return home on Friday evening, accompanied by 
his wife, who bore a light, and carrying his child on his arm, as she thought, 
between eight and nine o'clock ; she had opened the house-door to them, and 
Schmidt, as he walked up to his room, had good-humouredly wished her good 
night. She at first stated that she had not again opened the house-door to 
his wife that night; but upon the question being reiterated, she admitted she 
might have done so without recollecting, her attention being at the time very 
much occupied with other matters. 

Though there was some discrepancy between these witnesses as to time, 
that was easily accounted for without any suspicion of falsehood in the case 
of persons who had no clock or watch in the house to refer to, and particu- 
larly in a long and dark night in February. The only question was, which had 
made the nearest approach to the truth — a question of considerable import- 
ance in reference to the possibility of the guilt of the accused. Taking a 
medium between the different periods, and supposing Schmidt to have reach- 
ed his house accompanied by his wife about a quarter past nine, and to have 
been again found in bed on her return about half-past ten, the intervening 
period of an hour and a quarter was the whole time during which it was pos- 
sible the crime could have been committed. The blow had been given by 
all accounts at a quarter past ten ; the ale-house, where it took place, was at 
the distance of about a mile and a quarter from Schmidt's house, and the 
path of a murderer going to or stealing home from the scene of his crime, is 
seldom the most direct one. Supposing, however, that there was time enough 
to have reached the spot, completed the crime, and returned, which was barely 
possible, was it likely that a murder so cool and treacherous would be per- 
petrated by one who had been laboriously and industriously toiling for the 
E 2 


support of his family the whole evening by his mother-in-law's fire — who 
had peaceably returned home and gone to bed with his child — that a being 
so slow and sluggish in his intellect, so incapable of acting with decision in 
the ordinary affairs of life, should all at once, as if the scheme had long 
been matured, seize the instant when his wife had left the house, to spring 
up, hurry to a distance, lie in wait for, and deliberately murder a fellow 
being, and then be found quietly asleep at home in the course of a quarter of 
an hour after the crime was perpetrated "? This, if the testimony of his wife 
Avas to be believed, — and there existed apparently no reason to doubt its 
truth, — was, to say the least, in the highest degree improbable. 

But the red spots upon tlie handle of his axe 1 How were these to be 
accounted for? Tlie accused answered that if such spots existed, of which 
he knew nothing, thej' must have proceeded from a swelling in the hand, 
produced by heat, which had burst the day before. Lut the swelling, it was 
answered, is upon the right hand; the stains are on the upper part of the 
handle near the blade, which is held in the left hand; if the stains had been 
occasioned by blood tlovving from the swelling on the right, they must have 
been on a different part of the handle entirely, near the bottom. The accused 
replied that he was what is generally termed left-handed, and that in hewing, 
contrary to the usual practice, he held the lower part of the handle in his 
left hand, and the upper in his right ; a statement which was corroborated by 
his mother and others who were acquainted with him. Farther, tbe medical 
officer of the court, on examining tbe stains, expressed his doubts whether 
they were really stains from blood at all, since they appeared to rub out 
more easily than they would have done if they had proceeded from such a 
cause. On this ground of suspicion, therefore, it was evident nothing could 
now be rested. 

The examination of the axe showed farther, that it could not well be the 
weapon with which the wound had been inflicted. The wound caused by 
the blow of an axe striking straight down, and not drawn along- like a sabre 
cut, was not likely to be longer than the edge of the blade itself. But here 
the length of the edge was only three and one-third inches, the length of the 
wound four inches, while the cut in the leather cap which had been divided, 
was four and one-third inches in length. The form of the wound in the head, 
too, which at both ends came gently to a point, seemed irreconcilable with 
the broad and equally defined incision all along, likely to be made by the 
blade of an axe. 

Even the slender support afforded to the accusation by the charge of a pre- 
vious imprisonment for theft, was next removed. The prisoner's vindication 
of himself was found to be substantially correct; while his good character 
for sobriety, industry, simplicity, and good nature for years past, was estab- 
lished by a mass of evidence. 

Thus, one by one, the grounds of suspicion which had at first appeared 
to be assuming so firm and compact a form, crumbled away; and though 
Christopher Schmidt was not yet finally liberated, it was evident that as mat- 
ters stood his speedy acquittal from the charge was certain. But as the cloud 
of suspicion passed off from Christopher, it gathered for a moment round the 
heads of his namesakes, the Great and the Little Schmidt, inhabitants of the 

Both of these individuals, as already mentioned, had been acquainted with 
Ruprecht; and so far at least as occasionally carousing together went, had 
been for a time among his usual boon companions. Their intimacy, however, 
for it never seemed to have amounted to friendship, had been suddenly put 
an end to in consequence of a quarrel, in which Ruprecht got involved with 
the surveyors of bis district, Friedmann and Gotz, in the course of which 
the goldsmith, having publicly made some unfounded and abusive charges 
against these official persons, was convicted upon the evidence of his former 
acquaintances, the Schmidts, and sentenced to a short imprisonment on bread 


and water. Ruprecht had retaliated by an action of damagres against Gotz 
and Friedmann, which was still in dependence at the time of his death. Was 
it possible, then, that these persons had made use of the Schmidts, who had 
previously given them the benefit of their testimony against Ruprecht, as 
instruments of their revenge against their pertinacious opponent ] Possible 
certainly ; but in the highest degree improbable ; for the surveyors appeared 
throughout the whole proceedings with Ruprecht to have acted with the 
gi'eatest discretion and forbearance ; and their general character was that of 
men utterly incapable of any act so atrocious, particularly from a motive so 
inadequate. Not less satisfactory was the report as to the character of the 
supposed actors, the Schmidts, who were remarkable in their neighbourhood 
for their industrious and honest conduct, while the proof as to their not 
having committed the crime w^as finally placed beyond a doubt by the evi- 
dence of several witnesses, who spoke to the fact of their having returned 
home early on the night of the murder, and not having left the house till 
next morning. 

Two other circumstances at this time occurred, as if to show the endless- 
ness of this search after Schmidts: the one that two other Schmidts were 
discovered, not indeed living in the town, but in the suburbs, and one of them 
the woodman generally employed by Bieringer, Ruprecht's son-in-law ; but 
against neither of these was any trace of suspicion found. The other cir- 
cumstance was, that it was now ascertained that Ruprecht had not only varied 
in his accounts as to the residence of his supposed assassin, but that in some 
of his conversations with his relatives, Avhen asked if he knew who had 
injured him, he had answered in the negative. Perhaps then the whole was 
a mere vision growing out of the confusion of his mind at the time, and his 
mixing up the idea of a woodman's axe, which he naturally enough imagined 
had been the instrument of his death, with the recollection of the two wood- 
men, the Schmidts, who had played so conspicuous a part in the proceedings 
at the instance of the surveyors. 

Long indeed before this conclusion had been come to, it had occurred to 
some of the official persons that they were proceeding on a wrong scent, and 
that the actors in the villany were to be found nearer home. 

When Ruprecht was found in the passage immediately after the blow, the 
expressions he used, it will be recollected, were — '' Villain, with the axe!" 
And shortly afterwards, " My daiighter ! — my daughter!" These had been 
naturally interpreted at the time into an expression of his anxiety to see her ; 
but circumstances subsequently emerging seemed to render it doubtful whether 
his exclamation did not bear a less favourable meaning. 

The matrimonial life of Bieringer and his wife, it appeared, had been long 
a very unhappy one. Her husband for a time constantly complained to his 
father-in-law of her love of dress, and her quarrelsome temper; which on 
one occasion had reached such a height, that she had been subjected to an 
imprisonment of forty-eight hours for disturbing the peace of the neighbour- 
hood. This last remedy had been found more efficacious than the previous 
complaints, and from that time down to the death of Ruprecht, the couple 
had lived on tolerable terms. 

Not so, however, Ruprecht and his son-in-law. Bieringer, who was a 
man of some education and refinement of manners, had never concealed the 
dislike with which he regarded the vulgar propensities of his father-in-law; 
and this, added to his complaints against his wife, had so irritated the old 
man, that he never spoke of Bieringer but in terms of violent hostility. But 
a few days before his death, he had called him, before his own servant, a 
damned villain, whom he would never speak to even if he were on his death- 
bed. Actuated by these feelings towards him, Ruprecht had for some time 
past determined to make a will, by which his property, which he was to 
leave his daughter, was to be placed entirely beyond the control of her hus- 
band ; and this intention he had announced, about two months before his 


death, to his daughter, and more lately to his apprentice Hogner, to whom he 
assigned as his reason his determination to disappoint that villain his son-in- 
law. Nay, within a few hours of his murder, he had sent for Hogner to 
assist him in arranging his papers, and had fixed the following Sunday for 
completing the long-projected testament. This intention he had announced 
in the hearing of his servant. From some one of these sources his determi- 
nation might have been communicated to Bieringer ; a sufficient motive for 
the removal of the testator would thus have been furnished ; and unques- 
tionably there was a singular coincidence in point of time between the con- 
versation of Friday afternoon and the murder at night, which favoured 
the suspicion that they might stand to each other in the relation of cause 
and effect. 

When the intelligence of his father-in-law's being wounded was first 
brought to the house of Bieringer, he observed to his wife coldly, and with 
an appearance of ill-humour, that she must go over to see her father, to whom 
something had happened, adding, "we have nothing but plague M'ith him." 
The conduct of the daughter when she came into the ale-house seemed to 
some of the spectators to disjday a want of real feeling. One of her first 
concerns was, to see whether her father bad his keys about him, and having 
ascertained that he had, she took possession of, and walked away with them. 
With the removal of her father from the inn to his own house, all her lamen- 
tations ceased. She appeared, as some of the witnesses stated, scarcely to 
treat him with ordinary kindness, and to give grudgingly, and of necessity, 
what was necessary for his comfort. 

While the investigation was proceeding against the Great Schmidt, she 
displayed a singular anxiety to increase the suspicion against him, by report- 
ing conversations with her father which no other person had heard ; in which, 
besides pointing out Schmidt Woodman as his murderer, he was made to 
add, " he was a large man." Her own husband, Bieringer, it is to be ob- 
served, was very small in stature. She made great efforts to be allowed to 
be present when Schmidt was confronted with her father, alleging, as her 
reason, that she wished to remind him of the omniscience of God, Avhich 
might, perhaps, lead him to confession ; for the others she was assured were 
innocent of the crime. 

These attempts to throw suspicion on one who was clearlj' proved to have 
had no concern with the murder, the other suspicious circumstances in the 
conduct of the daughter, the situation in which Bieringer stood with his 
father-in-law, and the temptation to make away with Ruprecht, arising from 
the intended execution of the testament, left at first a strong impression on 
the mind of the judge that Bieringer, or some emissary of his, would be found 
to be the murderer. 

Here also, however, as in the'former cases, the grounds of suspicion va- 
nished, one by one, into thin air. 

That the words " my daughter !" uttered by Ruprecht, truly denoted no- 
thing else but his anxiety to see her, appeared from the fact mentioned by bis 
sister Clara, that such was his constant practice when any thing unpleasant 
or vexatious happened to him, and also from the evidence of the landlady of 
the Holle, who stated that she herself had first suggested sending for his 
daughter, to which he assented by an affirmative nod of his head. Bieringer's 
coldness and indifference when the news of the accident were delivered to 
him, were such as might have been expected from one who, for a long time 
before, had been on terms of mutual dislike with his father-in-law; but by 
no means easily reconcilable with the supposition that he was himself, me- 
diately or immediately, his murderer. The inferences arising from the depo- 
sitions of the first witnesses as to the insensibility evinced !)y the daughter, 
were entirely neutralized by the evidence of others, who described her con- 
duct as dutiful and affectionate in the highest degree; even her taking the 
keys from her father's person appeared to have been done at the suggestion 


of the surgeon who was present, and who imagined that the murder might 
have been committed as a preliminarj'^ to robbery. Her accusation of Schmidt 
might have been founded on expressions really used by her father, whose 
mind, it was now plain, had often wandered after the blow. And the anxiety 
with which she followed it up was natural, and even laudable, supposing her 
to have once adopted the idea that Schmidt was the murderer. Even the 
ground-work of the whole suspicion, namely, the supposed motive arising 
from the intended execution of the testament by which his wife's fortune 
was to be placed beyond Bieringer's control, was completely shaken ; for it 
was found that there was not even probable evidence that ever such an inten- 
tion had reached his ears. His wife stated that she had never communicated 
to him her conversation with her father, which, from the indifferent terms on 
which they lived, and the consideration that it would have been an advan- 
tage to her had her father lived to carry his intentions as to his will into 
effect, appeared extremely probable ; nor had Hogner, his other confidant, 
divulged it to any one. The maidj who had been present during the inter- 
views with Hogner on Friday afternoon, equally disclaimed having ever 
spoken of it. His brother and sisters had never heard of Ruprecht's inten- 
tions. Finally, there was distinct evidence that Bieringer himself at least 
had not been the murderer, because at a quarter past ten, when the murder 
was committed, he was proved to have been quietly seated in the parlour of 
the Golden Fish. The result of the preliminary investigations on the whole 
was to satisfy the judge that no real ground of suspicion existed either atrainst 
Bieringer or his wife. 

Even after all these failures the investigation was not abandoned. The 
servant who had been called upon to point out the name of any person who 
had done business with Ruprecht shortly before his death, mentioned that 
three persons, appearing to be of the regimental band, had been in Ruprecht's 
house on the morning of the murder. On inquiry, it was ascertained that 
this statem.ent was correct, and the three men, who turned out to be oboe- 
players in the band, were forthwith taken into custody. It appeared, from 
their own admission, that one of them, Proschl, had procured a loan of 
twenty-two florins from Ruprecht shortly before ; that the creditor had be- 
come clamorous for payment, and that the debtor, accompanied by the other 
two, Miihl and Spitzbart, had called on Ruprecht on the Friday inorning, with 
the view of obtaining some delay ; and that Ruprecht had fixed the follow- 
ing morning for accompanying Pruschl to his brother-in-law, from whom he 
Said he expected to receive the money. Add to this, the opinion, which 
from the first had been expressed by the inspecting physician, that the blow 
seemed to have been inflicted by a sabre ; and there was enough to warrant 
the judge in thinking, that here, at last, he might have stumbled upon the 
real murderer. Here also, however, the rising fabric of evidence was at 
once overturned by a clear proof of alibi on the part of one and all of the 
suspected assassins. 

And here, at last, justice was obliged to give up the pursuit; nor has any 
light been since thrown upon this strange story. 



The prisoner was arraigned at the bar on the morning of the 4th of March, 
1808, and the usual plea having been received, the case, which consisted of 
a few facts only, to be substantiated by evidence, was opened by Mr. Pooley. 
He mentioned the circumstance of the prisoner's having lived fellow servant 



at Mr. Boreham's, at Hoddesdon, with Elizabeth Harris, to ■whom he had 
paid his addresses, wishing to marry her; with other particulars which would 
appear in evidence, and would be necessary to connect the facts, and to 
ascertain the motives upon which the murder had been perpetrated. 

Elizabeth Harris, beino- sworn, and asked in whose service she was at 
the time of this unfortunate accident, answered that she then lived with Mr. 
Boreham's family, and for four years precedino- ; that the prisoner had lived 
there three years, but quitted his service at ^lichaelmas. On being asked if 
the prisoner had not expressed some strong inclination to marry her, she 
answered that he had, but that her mistress disapproved of it; and that he 
had quarrelled with the witness on that account before he left the service, 
and was so enraged as to beat her; and not contented with this, declared 
that he did not care if he had killed her; further adding, that he had often 
said he would make away with her, because she would not marry him. She 
then added, that the murder was effected about half-past eight in the evening; 
that she first heard him coming along the yard towards the house, at which 
time she was in the kitchen; that she heard him swearing violent!}', and she 
requested him not to make a noise or disturbance, as there was company in 
the house ; but he said he did not care for the company, as he would do for 
them all. The witness then ran into the wash-house, and shut the door, 
when he struck at her through the lattice. 

At this time the noise being very considerable, Mrs. Hummerstone opened 
the door and came into the yard, telling him to go away; when he struck 
her on the head, and knocked oH' her bonnet; on which she ran back into the 
house, and he followed her immediately. The witness heard the shrieks of 
murder, though she could not tell from whence they came, as all the family 
were in the room, consisting of INIrs. Boreham's three daughters, with Mrs. 
Warner, a married daughter, their father and mother, and Mrs. Hummerstone. 
The witness then added, that the prisoner very soon came towards the wash- 
house, when she again shut the door, and cried out, INIurder! and imme- 
diately ran into the sitting room. 

She saw some person lying under the window, but from her fright could not 
say who it was; she ran away down the passage, followed by the prisoner, 
where she met her master, a very feeble old man, with a poker in his hand, 
who was knocked down in running hastily. Being seized by the prisoner, 
the witness was thrown down, when he drew a knife across her throat, by 
which her hand, in guarding it, was much cut; and, in his second attempt, 
she wrested it from him, on which he ran away immediately, and she saw no 
more of him. In his attempts to murder the witness, he threw her across 
, Mrs. Warner, who was then, as she believed, lying dead. 

Sarah Cakebury was next sworn, who deposed, that she lived near Mrs. 
Boreham's at the time of this misfortune, on the 20th October, and was 
alarmed on that evening with the cry of murder ; on which she went into the 
house, when she passed Mrs. Hummerstone, and saw Mrs. Warner lying 
dead under the window. 

George Britton was afterwards sworn, who stated, that on the fatal evening 
of the 2()th October, in consequence of hearing of this melancholy event, he 
went to Mr. Boreham's house at Hoddesdon ; and, after he had been informed 
more particularly respecting it. proceeded without delay in search of the 
murderer. On finding the hat of Tom Simmons, the prisoner at the bar, in 
the cow-house, he went in search of him, but did not find him. 

Thomas Copperthwaite, on being sworn, deposed, that he also went in 
search of the murderer, and discovered Simmons the prisoner concealed 
under some straw in a crib in the farm-yard ; and on being interrogated as to 
his dress, he stated, that he had on a smock-frock, which was very bloody, 
and that the place where he was found was about a hundred yards from the 

The coroner, Benjamin Rook, Esq. being next called and sworn, deposed 


that when the testimony of Elizabeth Harris, at the time of the inquest, was 
read to the prisoner at the bar, he said it was very true ; that he had murdered 
them, and no one else ; that it was not his intention to have murdered ]Mr3. 
Hummerstone, but that he went to the house with a full design to murder 
Mrs. Boreham, Mrs. Warner, and Elizabeth Harris the servant. 

The constable, under whose custody he was conveyed to Hertford jail, on 
being sworn, deposed to the same effect ; with this additional circumstance, 
acknowledged to him by the prisoner, that after he had thrown the servant 
down, he heard something fluttering over his shoulders, which made him get 
up and run away. 

The evidence being summed up by Mr. Justice Heath, before whom he 
was tried, on a case so very clear, he said, that observations were rendered 
unnecessary ; because, if any doubt could possibly have existed of the pri 
soner's guilt, he had more than once voluntarily acknowledged it. The jury 
almost instantly gave the verdict of Guilty ,■ and the judge proceeded, without 
delay, to pronounce the dreadful sentence of the law in the accustomed man- 
ner; to be hanged on the following Monday, and his body to be committed to 
the surgeons to be anatomized. The sentence seemed to atfect him very little, 
and he walked from the bar with great coolness and indifference ; and suffered 
the punishment denounced for his crime accordingly, on the 7th of March, 1 808. 

It will appear from the preceding account of the trial for the murder of 
Mrs. Hummerstone, that no indictment was preferred on account of Mrs. 
Warner. Our readers should be acquainted that Mrs. Warner, the eldest, 
and only married daughter of Mr. Boreham, and her whole family were 
of the society of quakers, and was then on a visit to her parents at Hoddes- 
don. Mrs. Hummerstone was housekeeper to Mr. Batty, of the Bull Inn 
there, and superintended the business ; and was then at Mr. Boreham's by 
invitation to spend the evening. Mrs. Warner's husband was a brass-founder, 
residing in the Crescent, in Kingsland Road, and the factory was in the 
Crescent, in Jewin-street, near Aldersgate. The prosecution of the indict- 
ment for the murder of Mrs. Hummerstone was carried on at the instance 
of Mr. W. White, and Mr. B. Fairfax, of the Black Bull Inn, Hoddesdon, 
and Mr. J. Brown, churchwarden ; a measure rendered absolutely necessary 
from the refusal of Mr. Boreham's family to prosecute on behalf of Mrs. 


IN A DUEL, 1807. 

Alexander Campbell was brevet-major in the army, and a captain in the 
21st regiment of foot : he was a first cousin of the earl of Breadalbane, a 
man beloved and esteemed by all his friends. After the unfortunate duel, 
which took place in June, 1807, major Campbell made his escape from Ire- 
land, lived with his family, under a fictitious name, in Chelsea; but his 
mind became so uneasy that he at last determined to surrender himself. 

Accordingly, in the summer of 1808, he was indicted at the Armagh 
assizes, for the wilful and felonious murder of Alexander Boyd, captain in 
the same regiment, by shooting him, the said Alexander Boyd, with a pistol 
bullet, on the 23d of June, 1807, in the county of Armagh, in the kingdom 
of Ireland. 

George Adams, who was assistant-surgeon in the 21st regiment, since 
April twelve months, said he knew major Campbell and captain Boyd. In 


June 1807, they were quartered in the barrack in the county of Armagh, side 
of Newry. On the '23d of said month he was sent for in great haste to cap- 
tain Boyd, who died of a wound he received by a ])istol bullet, which pene- 
trated the extremity of the four lower ribs, and lodged in the cavity of the 
belly. On that day the regiment was inspected by General Kerr, and after 
the inspection the general and officers messed together. About eight o'clock, 
all the officers left the mess, except major Campbell, captain Boyd, witness, 
and a lieutenant Hall. A conversation was then commenced, by major Camp- 
bell stating, that general Kerr corrected him that day about a particular mode 
of giving a word of command, which he conceived he gave right. He men- 
tioned how he gave it, and how the genei-al corrected him. Captain Boyd 
remarked, that '• neither was correct according to Dundas, which is the king's 
order." (This colloquy, witness stated, took place in the usual mode of 
conversation.) Major Campbell said it might not be according to the king's 
order, but still he conceived it was not incorrect. Captain Boyd still insisted 
" it was not correct according to the king's order." They argued this some 
time, till captain Boyd said, " he knew it as well as any man." Major 
Campbell replied, he doubted that much. Captain Boyd at length said, " he 
knew it better than he did, and he might take that as he liked." Major 
Campbell then got up and said, " Then, captain Boyd, do you say 1 am 
wrong]" Captain Boyd replied, "I do; I know I am right, according to 
to the king's order." lilajor Campbell then quitted the room. Captain Boyd 
remained alter him some time : he left the room before witness or lieutenant 
Hale, but no observations were made on his going, more than any other gen- 
tleman who had dined there. Witness and lieutenant Hall went out together 
in a short time after ; they went to a second mess-room, and there captain 
Boyd came up to them and spoke to them. They then went out together, 
and witness left captain Boyd at lieutenant Deivaris's. In about twenty 
minutes after, he was called upon, to visit captain Boyd. He found him sit- 
ting in a chair and vomiting blood ; he examined his wound, and conceived it 
a very dangerous one. He was in great pain, and survived it about eighteen 
hours. Witness stayed with him till he died, during which time he got gra- 
dually worse till his dissolution. 

John Uvey stated that he is a mess-waiter of the 21st regiment, and was 
so then. He remembered the night this affair took place; knew major 
Campbell and captain Boyd. He saw major Campbell that night in a room 
where he was washing glasses; major Campbell had quitted the room about 
ten or fifteen minutes. As the major was coming up-stairs, captain Boyd 
was leaving the mess-room, and they met on the stair-head ; both went into 
the mess-waiter's room, and there remained ten or fifteen minutes, when they 
separated. Prisoner, in about twenty minutes, came again to witness, and 
desired him to go to captain Boyd, and tell him a gentleman wished to speak 
to him, if he pleased. Witness accordingly went in search of captain Boyd; 
he found him on the parade-ground ; he delivered the message, and captain 
Boyd accompanied him to the mess-room; no one was there. Witness 
pointed to a little room off it, as the room the gentleman was in. He then 
went to the mess-kitchen, and in eight or ten minutes he heard the report of 
a shot, but thought nothing of it till he heard another. Witness then went 
to the mess-room, and there saw captain Boyd and lieutenants Hall and 
M'Pherson. Captain Boyd was sitting in a chair vomiting blood. Major 
Campbell was gone ; but in ten or twelve minutes he came to the room 
where witness was w'ashing glasses. Major Campbell asked for candles; 
he got a pair, and brought them into the small room. Major Campbell then 
showed the witness the corners of the room in which each person stood, 
which distance measured seven paces. Witness never saw major Campbell 
after till a week before, though witness never quitted the regiment, but 
retained his employment. 

John M'Pherson stated, that he was lieutenant in said regiment, knew 

FOR MURDER. ' 61 ' 

major Campbell and captain Boyd, and recollected the day of the duel. On 
the evening of that day, going up-stairs about nine o'clock, he heard, as he 
thought, major Campbell say, " On the word of a dying man is every thing 
fair?" He got up before captain Boyd replied. He said, "Campbell, you 
have hurried me — you are a bad man /" Witness was in coloured clothes, 
and major Campbell did not know him ; but said again, " Boyd, before the 
stranger and lieutenant, was every thing fair]" Captain Boyd replied, " Oh 
no, Campbell, you know I icanted you to ivait and have friends /" Major 
Campbell then said, " Good God ! will you mention before these gentlemen 
— was not every thing fair] Did not you say you were ready]" Captain 
Boyd answered, yes ; but in a moment after said, " Campbell, you are a bad 
man /" Captain Boyd was helped into the next room, and major Campbell 
followed, much agitated, and repeatedly said to captain Boyd, that he (Boyd) 
was the happier man of the two. " I am," exclaimed major Campbell, " an 
unfortunate man, but I hope not a bad one." Major Campbell asked captain 
Boyd if he forgave him. He (captain Boyd) stretched out his hand, and 
said, " I forgive you — I feel for you — and am sure you do for me." IVIajor 
Campbell then left the room. 

John Greenhill was produced to prove that major Campbell had time to 
cool after the altercation took place, inasmuch as he went home, drank tea 
with his family, and gave him a box to leave with lieutenant Hall, before 
the affair took place. 

The learned judge, in his charge, briefly summed up the main points, and 
thus concluded : — 

It has been very accurately stated to you by the coiuisel for the prosecution, 
that illegally killing a man, by the law of England, must fall within one of 
the three species — homicide, manslaughter, or murder ; and that with homi- 
cide you had nothing to do, as the case before you was clearly neither 
chance-medley, self-defence, nor any kind of justifiable homicide. The case, 
then, must either be manslaughter, or murder. Manslaughter is illegally 
killing a man under the strong impulse of natural passion. Three qualities 
are necessary to constitute it. In the first place, the passion must be natural; 
that is to say, such as is natural to human infirmity under the provocation 
given ; — secondly, the act must be such as the passion naturally, and accord- 
ing to the ordinary course of human actions, would impel; — and thirdly, and 
indeed mainly, the criminal act must be committed in the actual moment of 
the passion, flagrante animo, as it is termed, and before the mind has time to 
cool. The act of killing, under such circumstances, is manslaughter. But 
if any of these circumstances be wanted ; if the passion be beyond the pro- 
vocation — beyond what the provocation should naturally and ordinarily pro- 
duce; if the act be beyond the passion — beyond what the passion would 
naturally and ordinarily impel, or if it be not committed in the very moment 
of the passion, and before the passion either has or should have passed 
away ; — in all these cases, the act of criminal killing is not manslaughter, 
but murder. 

Now to apply this to the present case. The provocation, as stated by the 
evidence, consisted in these words, "Do you say I am wrong]" — "Yes, I 
do ;" and the manner in which those words were said. It remains for you, 
therefore, gentlemen, to judge, whether such a provocation was sufficient to 
constitute that passion which, under the interpretation of the law, would 
render the prisoner at the bar guilty of manslaughter only, or whether the 
consequent passion was not above the provocation, and, therefore, that the 
prisoner is guilty of murder. You will consider this coolly in your own 
judgment, and will remember upon this point the evidence that has been 
given ; that the words were certainly offensively spoken, but that it was in 
the heat of argument, and that by a candid explanation, as the evidence 
expressed it, the affair might not have occurred. 

You will next have to consider, whether tiie criminal act was committed 


in the moment, the actual moment of the passion ; or whether the prisoner 
had time to cool, and to return to the use of his reason. Upon this point, 
you must keep your attention more particularly fixed on that part of the 
evidence which goes to state that major Campbell returned home, took his 
tea, and executed some domestic arrangements, after the words, and before 
the meeting. If you are of opinion, either that the provocation, which I have 
mentioned to you, and which you collect from the evidence, was too slight to 
excite that violence of passion which the law requires for manslaughter; or 
that, be the passion and the provocation what it might, still that the prisoner 
had time to cool, and return to his reason — in either of these cases, you are 
bound upon your oaths to find the prisoner guilty of murder. 

There is still another point for your serious consideration. It has been 
correctly stated to you by the counsel, that there is such a thing which is 
called the point of honour — a principle totally false in itself, and unrecognised 
both bylaw and morality; but which, from its practical importance, and the 
mischief attending any disregard of it to the individual concerned, and par- 
ticularly to a military individual, has usually been taken into consideration 
by juries, and admitted as a kind of extenuation. But in all such cases, 
gentlemen of the jury, there have been, and there must be, certain grounds 
for such indulgent consideration — such departure from the letter and spirit of 
the law. In the first place, the provocation must be great; in the second 
place, there must be a perfect fair dealing — the contract, to oppose life to life, 
must be perfect on both sides, the consent of both must be full, neither of 
them must be forced into the field : — and thirdly, there must be something of 
necessity, to give and take the meeting; the consequence of refusing it being 
the loss of reputation, and there being no means of honourable reconcilia- 
tion left. 

Let me be not mistaken on this serious point. I am not justifying duel- 
ling ; I am only stating those circumstances of extenuation, which are the 
only grounds that can justify a jury in dispensing with the letter of the law. 
You have to consider, therefore, gentlemen of the jury, whether this case has 
these circumstances of extenuation. You must here recall to your minds the 
words of the deceased, captain Boyd — "You have hurried me — I wanted to 
wait and have friends — Campbell, you are a bad man." These words are 
very important; and if you deem them sufficiently proved, they certainly do 
away all extenuation. If you think them proved, the prisoner is most clearly 
guilty of murder; the deceased will then have been hurried into the field ; 
the contract of opposing life to life could not have been perfect. It is 
important, likewise, in this part of your consideration, that you should revert 
to the provocation, and to the evidence which stated that the words were 
offensively spoken, so as not to be passed over ; but that the aff'air would not 
have happened, if there had been a candid explanation. Gentlemen of the 
jury, you will consider these points, and make your verdict accordingly. 

The jury then retired, and, after remaining about half an hour out of court, re- 
turned with their verdict — Guilty of murder ,- but recommended him to mercy. 
Sentence of death was immediately passed on the unfortunate gentleman, 
and he was ordered for execution on the following Monday ; but, in conse- 
quence of the recommendation of the jury, lie was respited till Wednesday 
se'nnight. In the mean time, every effort was made by the friends of the 
unfortunate man to procure the royal mercy. The grand jury of the county, 
and the jury who had found him guilty, presented petitions to the lord-lieu- 
tenant of Dublin. 

Mrs. Campbell, his wife, immediately on hearing the verdict, set off post 
for Dublin; and, finding the packet had sailed, crossed the channel in an 
open boat, landed in safety at Holyhead, and arrived in London within 
twenty-eight hours. She then proceeded, without loss of time, to Windsor, 
and presented a memorial to the queen, imploring her intercession in behalf 
of her husband, stating the circumstances of the duel, and detailing his 




services in the army. She continued incessant in her applications ; on her 
knees she solicited, in the most pathetic terms, the intercession, not only of 
her majesty, but also of the princesses. She even went to Bricfhton, to wait 
on his royal highness the prince of Wales, who immediately wrote a note to 
the duke of Portland. This note INIrs. Campbell presented to his grace, who 
gave no hope that her application would be attended with success. 

The respite expired on the 23d of August, and an order was sent from 
Dublin Castle to Armagh, for the execution of the unfortunate gentleman on 
the 24th. His deportment, during the whole of the melancholy interval 
between his condemnation and the day of his execution, was manly, but peni- 
tent ; such as became a Christian towards his approaching dissolution. When 
he was informed that all efforts to procure a pardon had failed, he was only 
anxious for the immediate execution of the sentence. He had repeatedly im- 
plored that he might be shot ; but as this was not suitable to the forms of the 
common law, his entreaties were, of course, unsuccessful. 

During the absence of his wife, he was led out for execution, on Wednes- 
day, the 24th of August. This spectacle was truly distressing, and tears and 
shrieks burst from several parts of the crowd. When the executioner 
approached to fix the cord, major Campbell looked up to heaven. There was 
now the most profound silence ; and the executioner seemed paralyzed whilst 
perforxning the last act of his duty. 



The indictment was as follows : — 

" James Stuart, clerk to the signet, lately residing in Charlotte-street, of 
Edinburgh, you are indicted, and accused at the instance of Sir William Rae, 
of St. Catharine's, baronet, his majesty's advocate for his majesty's interest; 
that, albeit, by the laws of this and of every other well-governed realm, 
murder is a crime of a heinous nature, and severely punishable ; yet true it 
is and of verity, that you, the said James Stuart, are guilty of the said 
crime, actor, or art and part ; in so far as you, the said James Stuart, having 
conceived malice and ill-will against the late Sir Alexander Boswell, of Au- 
chinleck, baronet, and having formed the unlawful design of challenging the 
said Sir Alexander Boswell, and others of the lieges, to fight a duel or duels, 
you did, upon the 9th, or one or other of the days of March, 1822, in order to 
enable you the better to accomplish your said unlawful design, repair to 
Glasgow to obtain, through the medium of William Murray Borthwick, 
formerly one of the proprietors or printers of the newspaper called the Glas- 
gow Sentinel, and then a prisoner in the jail of Glasgow, the manuscripts 
of sundry articles which had been published in the said newspaper, and other 
papers and documents connected with the said newspaper, which were then 
in the premises in Nelson-street, of Glasgow, occupied by Robert Alexander, 
editor and proprietor of the said newspaper, and in the lawful possession and 
custodj' of the said Robert Alexander ; and the said William Murray Borth- 
wick having been liberated from jail, as arranged and concerted by or with 
you, and having, on the 11th, or one or other of the days of the said month 
of March, carried, or caused to be carried, away from the said premises in 
Nelson-street, of Glasgow, sundry writings, the property, or in the lawful 
possession of the said Robert Alexander ; and having brought, or caused to 
be brought, the said v^ritino-s to the Tontine Inn or hotel, in Glasgow, where 
Vou then was, you did thereby obtain access to the said writings ; and having 

'>>'. jf 


found, or pretended to have found among them, some writings holograph of 
the said Sir Alexander Boswell, you did wickedly and maliciously challenge 
the said Sir Alexander Boswell to fight a duel with you ; and a time and 
place of meeting having been concerted, you did, upon Tuesday, the 2Gth day 
of March, 1822, or upon one or other of the days of that month, or of Februa- 
ry immediately preceding, or of April immediately following, upon the 
farm of Balbarton, in the shire of Fife, a little to the northward of the road 
from the village of Auchtertool to the burgh of Kircaldy, and about three 
quarters of a mile or thereby distant from the said village of Auchter- 
tool, in the said shire, wickedly and maliciously discharge, at the said Sir 
Alexander Boswell, a pistol loaded with ball, whereby the said Sir Alex- 
ander Boswell was mortally wounded, the ball having entered near the root 
of the neck on the right side, and shattered the collar-bone, of which mortal 
wound the said Sir Alexander Boswell died in the course of the next day, 
and was thus murdered by you, the said James Stuart. And you, the said 
James Stuart, conscious of your guilt, in the premises, did abscond and flee 
from justice; and a letter, bearing to be dated, ' Auchinleck, Nov. 7, 1821,' 
and to be subscribed ' Alexander Boswell ;' as also a writing, intituled 
'Whig Song,' and addressed on the back, 'For INIr. Alexander, Sentinel 
office, Glasgow ;' a letter or writing, bearing to be dated, ' Dumbarton, De- 
cember 17, 1821,' subscribed ' Ignotus ;' and a writing entitled 'James 
Perry, Esq., late proprietor and editor of the Morning Chronicle,' and ad- 
dressed on the back, ' Mr. Alexander, Sentinel office, Glasgow,' being all to 
be used in evidence against you at your trial, will be lodged in due time in 
the hands of the clerk of the high court of justiciary, before which you are to 
be tried, that you may have an opportunity of seeing the same : at least, 
time and place above libelled, the said Sir Alexander Boswell was murdered ; 
and you, the said James Stuart, are guilty thereof, actor, or art and part. All 
which, or part thereof, being found proved by the verdict of an assize, before 
the lord justice-general, the lord justice-clerk, and lord commissioners of 
justiciary, you, the said James Stuart, ought to be punished with the pains 
of law, to deter others from committing the like crimes in all time coming. 
(Signed) " Dun. M'Neill, A. D.'^" 

Mr. Stuart's plea was " Not Guilty.'''' 

The Earl of Rosslyn, being called, deposed as follows: — On the 25th of 
March last, he called on Sir A. Boswell, and told him, he had come at the 
desire of Mr. Stuart ; and that Mr. Stuart had in his possession certain 
papers, some of which appeared to be in Sir Alexander's handwritino;, and 
bore the postmark of Manchlin, and the counter postmark of Glasgow. 
Some of them purported to be originals of papers published in the Glasgow 
Sentinel, and one of them, particularly (a song), contained allusions disre- 
spectful to Mr. Stuart's family, and charged Mr. Stuart with cowardice. 
Among the papers there was a letter to the editor of the Sentinel, signed, A. 
Boswell, containing some praise of the song, and other papers reflectino- 
on Mr. Stuart, which were in the same handwriting with the letter which 
bore Sir Alexander's signature. The similarity of the handwriting and of the 
postmark furnished so strong a presumption that Sir Alexander was the 
author, that he thought it proper to ask Sir Alexander if he was the author, 
or if he had sent them to the newspaper, stating at the same time, that if Sir 
Alexander could say that he was not the author, and had not sent them to the 
newspaper, that would be conclusive, notwithstanding any evidence to the 

Sir Alexander said that this was a delicate affair, and he thought he ought 
to have a friend present. Witness said he thought it very desirable. Sir 
Alexander went away, and returned with Mr. Douglas, when witness re- 
peated what he had previously said. Sir Alexander and Mr. Douglas desired 
to confer together. Witness went away, and when he returned, found Mr. 
Douglas alone. Mr. Douglas then said, that he could not advise Sir Alexan- 


der to give any answer ; that Mr, Stviart was in possession of the evidence on 
which this application rested ; but if this affair should proceed any further, there 
were two proposals which he had to make: — 1. That no meeting should 
take place within fourteen days, because Sir Alexander had some family business 
to dispose of. 2. That the meeting, if any, should take place on the conti- 
nent. Witness had no hesitation in replying, that on these conditions he 
thought the terms were such as would be agreed to. He had copies of the 
manuscripts and papers in his hand, when he called on Sir Alexander. He 
had a song and a paper signed " Ignotus." He thought the song of far the 
greater importance, because it contained two direct imputations of cowardice 
He considered Mr. Stuart's character implicated by those papers (which, 
being shown to the witness, he identified in court). JNIr. Douglas said he 
would not advise Sir Alexander to make any answer at all. Witness after 
wards saw Mr. Stuart, and proceeded immediately to Mr. Douglas, and 
stated that witness was grieved that no alternative was left to Mr. Stuart ; 
that Mr. Stuart agreed to both the conditions stated by Mr. Douglas, namely, 
the delay of fourteen days, and that the meeting should be upon the continent. It 
was agreed ttiat all subsequent arrangements respecting the meeting on the 
continent should be settled when all the parties were in London. Witness 
then asked Mr. Douglas, if there was any possibility of not carrying this 
affair any further; that Mr. Stuart would be content to treat the song as a 
very bad joke on his part, provided Sir Alexander would say that he did not 
intend any reflection on Mr. Stuart's courage. Mr. Douglas said he had no 
hope that Sir Alexander would say any such thing. Witness left Mr. Dou- 
glas to return to Fife, in the conviction that every thing was finally settled. 
The boat was ready, but before he embarked, he was accosted bj' Mr. Dou- 
glas, who said Sir Alexander had taken the advice of a legal friend, and 
in consequence thought it no longer necessary to go to the continent, and 
that he preferred to have the meeting in Scotland. Witness objected to 
that; after some discussion, Mr. Douglas returned to Edinburgh, saying at 
parting, that at any rate, if the meeting took place in France, and Mr. Stuart 
fell. Sir Alexander could not be hanged for it. Mr. Brougham called on 
witness next morning, at about from a quarter to eight to half-past eight, and 
stated, that Sir Alexander had been bound over by the sheriff of Edinburgh 
to keep the peace, and that it had been settled that vSir Alexander and Mr. 
Stuart should meet at Auchtertool that morning, and requested witness to 
meet Mr. Stuart, which he did. He went there, and had some conversation, 
and fixed on a piece of ground near the road side. I\Ir. Stuart and Sir Alex- 
ander arrived in carriages, and got out at the place they had fixed upon, 
he believed at ten o'clock. The pistols were produced by Mr. Douglas and 
witness, Mr. Douglas sitting down, and witness standing; Mr. Douglas 
received from witness the nreasure of powder for each pistol, and the ball, 
and rammed them down. There were but two pistols, of which Mr. Douglas 
took one, and witness the other. The ground was measured, twelve very 
long paces. The pistols were delivered to the two parties respectively, one 
by Mr. Douglas and one by me ; and it was agreed that they should fire by 
a word. Mr. Douglas looked upon him (witness) to give the word, which 
he did, and they fired. Sir Alexander fell. Mr. Stuart advanced with great 
anxiety towards Sir Alexander ; but witness hurried Mr. Stuart away. 
Those who remained, together with witness, lent their assistance to convey 
Sir Alexander to Balmuto. Before any thing took place on the ground, Mr. 
Stuart asked witness, if it was not fit that he should make a bow to Sir 
Alexander, and express his wish for a reconciliation. Witness thought it 
right. Mr. Stuart advanced towards Sir Alexander, apparently for that pur- 
pose ; Sir Alexander's back was then turned, and he appeared to be walking 
away from Mr. Stuart. 

Cross-examined by Air. Jeffrey. — Witness was satisfied in his own mind 
that the letter signed " Ignotus," and the letter containing the song, were in 
F'2 9 


the same handwriting as the letter bearing Sir Alexander's signature; and 
that both papers threw an imputation of cowardice on Mr. Stuart. From the 
whole of Mr. Stuart's conduct throughout the proceeding, there was nc 
appearance of personal ill-will or resentment on the part of Mr. Stuart against 
Sir Alexander; but only anxiety to defend his own character from the impu- 
tations with which it had been assailed, particularly from that of cowardice 
He found Mr. Stuart perfectly reasonable throughout the proceedings. Mr 
Stuart's conduct, from first to last, was cool, composed, and temperate, and 
such as might be expected from a man of constancy and courage. This ob- 
servation applied as well to his conduct on the field as previously. On the 
field, witness desired Mr. Stuart to present his side and not his bust; Mr 
Stuart replied, " I do not think I ought to take an aim." The word agreed upon 
was (both parties having been asked if they were ready) — " Present, fire," 
as quickly in succession as they could be given. Both the pistols went olf, 
also, as quickly in succession as possible ; but Mr. Stuart's pistol was rathei 
the first. From his acquaintance wath Mr. Stuart, he could say that he nevei 
knew a man less quarrelsome or vindictive. Mr. Stuart was much occupied 
in public business, and had made great improvements in the county of Fife. 
Never, though field sports were going on, saw Mr. Stuart with a gun in his 
hand in his life. 

Mr. Douglas, after stating the previous circumstances which had been 
mentioned by Lord Rosslyn, described the arrival of the parties on the ground. 
Witness advised Lord Rosslyn not to pass through the village, lest he 
should be known. Lord Rosslyn went another road, and was first on the 
ground. The ground was approved of by all parties. Witness asked Lord 
Rosslyn if he thought there was any chance of an amicable arrangement. 
Lord Rosslyn said he feared not. Lord Rosslyn measured off the ground. 
Witness desired Dr. Wood not to stand so near : he replied, " He wished 
to be near, lest Sir Alexander might die before he could come up to his 
assistance." The parties having taken their positions, Lord Rosslyn pro- 
posed that Mitness should give the command ; witness said he wished Lord 
Rosslyn to do it, which his lordship did. On their way to the ground, Sir 
Alexander consulted witness as to firing in the air or not. Witness said he 
(Sir Alexander) must consult his own feelings on that subject. Sir Alexan- 
der said he had, perhaps, in an unhappy moment, injured Mr. Stuart, and 
therefore he should fire in the air. Witness said that was exactly his own 
opinion. On the field, he did not notice how Sir Alexander fired, as he felt 
that Mr. Stuart was in no danger, but he kept his eye on Mr. Stuart ; saw 
him raise his arm, which appeared firm and nervous, but he could not tell the 
direction exactly in which it pointed. Both fired ; there was just a differ- 
ence between the time of the two reports. Mr. Stuart's was rather first. Sir 
Alexander fell. Assistance immediately was rendered to him. Mr. Stuart 
approached, and witness advised him to flee. The only words which Sir 
Alexander spoke to witness then, were, that he regretted he had not made his 
fire in the air more decided than it had been. Sir Alexander's wound was 
not dressed on the field, but at Balmuto-house, whither he was immediately 

Crois-exa mined hy Mr. Cunnivghame. — The injury done to Mr. Stuart, to 
which Sir Alexander alluded, witness understood to be some squibs that he 
had written concerning him. Sir Alexander had called on witness the Sun 
day before he met Lord Rosslyn, and said he expected a challenge from Mr. 
Stuart, in consequence of some papers, and among them a song, having been 
seized in the Sentinel oflice. Sir Alexander recited the stanza which he 
considered obnoxious, and it was the same as that now shown to witness. 
The information to the sheriff was given by some friends of Sir Alexander. 
On the field, witness went up to Sir Alexander, and directed him to make 
his fire in the air as distinct as possible, as that would facilitate an adjust- 
ment of the dispute. He directed Sir Alexander to fire into the bank, in the 

^ f! 



direction of the seconds. Being asked if in the field Mr. Stuart conducted 
himself in every respect as became a man of honour and of courage, witness 
replied certainly. 

Dr. Wood said he had accompanied Sir A. Boswell to the field ; he did 
not see any pistols fired : he had instructed the other surgeon that they ought 
to turn their backs and not see the firing; but that, as soon as they heard the 
report, they should return and run to the spot as speedily as possible. The 
pistols were fired in quick succession ; going to the spot, they found Sir 
Alexander wounded in the shoulder; they extracted two pieces of bone ; the 
first was extracted by himself, and the other by Mr. Listen. Witness accom- 
panied Sir Alexander to Balmuto-house, and attended him till three o'clock 
the next day, when he died. In the carriage, on the way to the ground. Sir 
Alexander expressed his decided opinion that Mr. Stuart could have done 
nothing else but call him out. He also declared his intention to fire in the 
air; and on getting out of the carriage, he said, " Now, gentlemen, observe 
that it is my fixed resolution to fire in the air." 

The evidence of the witnesses next called related only to the handwriting 
of the two papers, 

Mr. William Spalding, writer, recollected in the month of March last, 
going with Mr. Stuart to Glasgow. Mr. Henderson, writer in Hamilton, 
accompanied them. Witness called at Mr. Stuart's house, and there, for the 
first time, learned that Mr. Henderson was to accompany them. The object 
of their journe)' was to liberate Mr. Borthwick from prison. They arrived 
at Glasgow about eleven o'clock on that (a Saturday) night. Mr. Henderson 
went to the jail the same night ; but Mr. Borthwick was not liberated that 
night. Witness was private agent to Mr. Borthwick. They had an inter- 
view with Mr. Borthwick, in the jail, on the Sunday evening ; and it was 
there agreed, that Mr, Borthwick should go and procure certain manuscripts 
from the Sentinel office, with a view of raising actions of relief against certain 
gentlemen of the county of Lanark. Mr. Stuart was present only a part of 
the time during this interview. Cannot tell whether he was present when 
the proposal for taking the manuscript from the Sentinel office was made. 
Mr. Henderson was present. 

The next morning, Mr. Borthwick went to the office and sent certain MSS. 
by a man named Robinson, to the Tontine Inn, where they were examined 
by Mr. Stuart, Mr. Henderson, and himself. Mr. Borthwick did not arrive 
till after the MSS, had been examined, I\Ir, Henderson knew Sir Alexander's 
handwriting, and all the papers written by Sir Alexander were laid apart 
from the rest. The MSS, now shown witness were those which were 
selected from the others. It was witness who gave up the MSS. to Mr. 

Cross-examined by Mr. CocMurn. — The £50, by which Mr. Borthwick 
was liberated, was paid by Mr. Henderson. No part of that money came 
either directly or indirectly from Mr. Stuart. On the way to Glasgow never 
heard Sir Alexander Boswell's name mentioned by Mr. Stuart or IVIr. Hen- 
derson. It was not mentioned until they saw his letter on Monday. 

This closed the case for the prosecution. 

The following witnesses were called on for the defence : — 

Mr. Henderson, writer in Hamilton, knows Mr. Borthwick, and knew that 
he had been editor of the Clydesdale Journal. Had been employed as his 
agent. About the 29th of December he gave him certain papers, in order 
that he might get quit of certain actions of damages. Came to Edinburgh 
about the middle of January for that purpose. Had no communication what- 
ever, then, with Mr. Stuart; did not then know that gentleman. Was pre- 
viously aware of a process brought by Mr. Borthwick against Alexander, the 
other partner in the Glasgow Sentinel, in which a judgment was pronounced 
against Alexander, authorizing Borthwick to take possession in six days, as 
Alexander had not implemented the bargain with Borthwick. Knows that 


Mr. Borthwick did take possession on the 1st of March. He was arrested 
that night for a debt, which witness knew not to be due. Witness came to 
Edinburgh on the Tuesday following, and applied to Mr. Spalding, whom he 
had previously employed as Borthwick's agent, to present a bill of suspen- 
sion. The bill was merely presented. It could not be granted without an 
answer. Witness therefore resolved to consign the money to the hands of 
the jailer. Witness was to have advanced it himself; he knew the debt 
was false, and that there could be no risk. AVitness applied to a person to 
introduce him to Mr. Stuart. His object was to get INIr. Stuart to forego an 
action of damages which he had brought against Borthwick, and for that 
purpose witness described the manner in which Borthwick had been impri- 
soned. Mr. Stuart replied that he could make no promises ; that he was 
convinced Borthwick was not the author of the libels upon him ; and if Borth- 
wick would give up the authors, the action sliould be discontinned. Witness 
said that Borthwick had often expressed his wish to be introduced to Mr. 
Stuart, and his readiness to give np the authors, provided that he were freed 
from the action of damages. INIr. Stuart went with witness, and called on 
Mr. Spalding, and they proceeded to Glasgow. They obtained an interview 
with Borthwick, who said, if he were liberated, he would resume possession 
next morning at the usual hour. Borthwick said he had keys belonging to 
the office ; witness did not see any. Witness procured the liberation of 
Borthwick on the Sunday evening. Borthwick, when liberated, went to 
the office, accompanied by witness's clerk, and one Louden Robinson 
(formerly a journeyman in his employ), as witnesses. Robinson shortly 
afterwards returned with a bundle of manuscripts of newspapers. Mr. Borth- 
wick came some time after, and said he had been prevented from examining 
the papers at the office, on account of the violence of Alexander. The hand- 
writing of Sir Alexander Boswell was not discovered until all the hand- 
writings had been assorted in different parcels. Borthwick said it was the 
writing of one Sir A. Oswald, as he called him ; but he said there was a 
letter from the gentleman himself among the papers. This letter was found, 
and Mr. Stuart expressed much surprise and astonishment at the discovery ; 
he said he never could have suspected Sir A. Boswell of attempting to injure 
him. The manuscripts were delivered to l\Ir. Spalding, not to be given to 
any one, but to be reserved for the inspection of any one concerned. The 
money, by which Borthwick was liberated, was paid out of this witness's 
proper funds. 

James Gibson, of Ingliston, esq., W. S., knows Mr. Stuart and Mr. Alton. 
Has seen a great many articles in the Beacon and Sentinel, which they con- 
sidered extremely offensive to Lord Archibald Hamilton, Mr. Stuart, and 
himself. Has often consulted with Mr. Stuart on the means of detecting the 
author. INIr. Alton is the agent for Lord Archibald Hamilton. .Recollects 
the article respecting INIr. Stuart, which appeared in the first number of the 
Sentinel ; considers it a most atrocious libel. Was informed by Mr. Alton, 
on one of the first days of March, that Borthwick had possession of the 
manuscripts of the libels; but on Thursday, the 7th of March, Mr. 
Stuart told Mr. Gibson that Mr. Alton was mistaken, as Mr. Borthwick was 
in Glasgow jail, and had left the papers locked up in a safe in the Sentinel 
office. Mr. Stuart informed witness that Mr. Borthwick's agent had applied 
to him in the parliament-house that day, offering to deliver up the papers, 
provided i\Ir. Stuart would release him from the action of damages, but Mr. 
Stuart had declined to come under any engagement. Was informed of the 
whole transaction respecting Borthwick's imprisonment, and told Mr. Stuart, 
that he (witness) would pay the debt tor which Borthwick was imprisoned, 
rather than be disappointed of the papers ; and he was apprehensive from 
what he had heard of the character of Alexander, that he would not scruple 
taking any measures to get possession of, and destroy them. He recom- 
mended to Mr. Stuart not to lose a moment in obtaining the papers, but his 


only reason for recommending- haste, was lest Alexander should destroy 
them. Mr. Stuart had never hinted a suspicion that Sir A. Boswell was the 
author of any of the attacks upon him, and expressed his astonishment when, 
on returning from Glasgow, he acquainted witness of the discovery. Witness 
was aware that a duel was fought between Mr. Stuart and the late Sir A. 
Boswell, on the 26th of March last. Saw Mr. Stuart the evening before. 
Mr. Stuart then acquainted him that the meeting was to take place three 
days afterwards. Mr. Stuart then appeared perfectly calm and collected, but 
expressed no other motive for his conduct than a desire to vindicate his cha- 
racter; he did not appear to be actuated by the least vindictiveness against 
Sir Alexander. The next time he heard of Mr. Stuart was by a sealed 
packet brought by his clerk next morning at eleven o'clock. The letter was to 
this purpose: "The other party saw the necessity of instant action, owing 
to circumstances not known when I last saw you ;" and requested witness 
" if he was completely done for," to deliver a packet which was enclosed to 
his wife. The same day about two o'clock, witness, when coming to his 
office, saw Mr. Stuart coming out of it, who instantly, on seeing Mr. Gibson, 
turned short, and ran up the stairs. Witness followed him into his room ; 
and when witness had closed the door, he said, " Good God ! what has hap- 
pened ]" Mr. Stuart ran into the corner of the room, put both his hands on 
his face in the greatest agony of grief; and as soon as he could speak, he 
said that he was afraid Sir Alexander Boswell was mortally wounded. 
After Mr. Stuart had recovered himself a little, he informed witness, in an- 
swer to his inquiries, that he had asked Lord Rosslyn whether it would be 
right, on meeting Sir Alexander Boswell on the ground, that he should take 
off his hat as a mark of civility. Lord Rosslyn approved, and accordingly 
Mr. Stuart was in the act of advancing, and putting his hand to his hat, when 
Sir Alexander Boswell turned away his head. 

I'Tie lord advocate submitted, that this should not be gone into. It was 
throwing a reflection on the memory of Sir Alexander Boswell. 

Mr. Jeffrey said that there was no such intention. It was right for Mr. 
Stuart that it should be stated ; and he had no doubt that Sir Alexander 
Bos well's turning away his head, arose from his not being aware of what 
Mr. Stuart intended to do. 

Mr. Gibson proceeded : — Mr. Stuart said to witness that he had taken no 
aim, and he added, " I wish to God I had done so, as I am certain I should 
in that case have missed him ; I never fired a pistol on foot in my life." 
Witness immediately urged Mr. Stuart to leave the country, that he might 
avoid unnecessary imprisonment. Mr. Stuart expressed great unwillingness 
to do so; but at last consented, on condition of witness giving notice that he 
would be ready to stand trial when called on : the last words, which Mr. . 
Stuart said, were, " Remember you must give notice, that I am ready to 
stand trial." Witness did give verbal notice to that effect, to Mr. Sheriff 
Duff, next morning; and afterwards announced in the Edinburgh Star and 
Advertiser newspapers, that such notice had been given. He also gave 
notice to the crown agent, on the 29th of March, the 4th of April, and on 
many other occasions. Witness never considered Mr. Stuart's leaving town 
in the light of absconding or flying from justice; Mr. Stuart was one of the 
best-tempered and most excellent men he knew ; he never knew him engage 
in quarrels, or allow his politics to interfere with his private friendships. 

Mr. Liston, surgeon. — Mr. Stuart called upon witness on the morning of the 
26th of March, and requested witness to go to the country along with him. 
And when on the Fife side, he informed him, that he (Mr. Stuart) was to 
fight a duel with Sir Alexander Boswell. Mr. Stuart said he had no malice 
against Sir Alexander ; he said if he had the misfortune to hit him, he wished 
it might be in the great toe, as a gentleman in England did lately on a similar 
occasion. The witness gave the same evidence as Dr. Wood, as to what 
happened on the ground. ■ , 


Sheriff Duff recollected proceedings before him in March last, at the in- 
stance of Mr. Alexander, to recover certain papers alleged to have been 
stolen from the Sentinel office, Glasgow ; he ordered them to be lodged at 
his office, which, under a protest, was complied with. Witness identified 
some of the papers shown him to be the same as were in his personal 
custody from that time until they were delivered up to the crown agent, as 
evidence on the trial of William Borthwick. Witness recollected a rencon- 
tre between ]\Ir. Stuart and INIr. Stevenson, and their being bound over to 
keep the peace ; also recollected that the affray arose out of language in the 
Beacon, which witness considered verj' abusive as respected INIr. Stuart ; and 
that Mr. Stuart subsequently brought to witness a number of the Beacon, 
which contained further abusive matter, and requested him to take cogni- 
zance of it; but he declined, not considering himself warranted to act in the 
way proposed. 

Mr. Spalding was recalled to identify these papers as the same which 
were found at the Sentinel office, and afterwards delivered up by him to 
Sheriff Duff. 

Many witnesses concurred in describing Mr. Stuart as a most humane and 
amiable man. 

The lord justice clerk charged the jury, who, without leaving the box, 
returned an unanimous verdict, by their chancellor. Sir John Hope, finding 
Mr. Stuart JVot Guilty of the charges libelled. The verdict was received, by 
a very crowded court, with loud cheers. 


FOR MURDER, 1807. 

This case, which excited considerable interest, came on at the Norfolk 
assizes, July 27, 1807, before Sir Nash Grose, knight, when Martha Alden 
was capitally indicted for the wilful murder of her husband, Samuel Alden, 
of Attleburgh, Norfolk. 

The first witness, Edmund Draper, stated that he knew the deceased 
Samuel Alden, the husband of the prisoner at the bar; that on Saturday, the 
18th of July, he was in company with the deceased at the White Horse public- 
house, at Attleburgh ; that the prisoner, who was present when witness and 
the deceased met, said to them she was going home with her child, and went 
away ; witness sat drinking with Alden till nearly twelve o'clock, conversing 
with the wife of the publican ; he then accompanied the deceased to his house, 
which lay in the way to his own home : witness stated, that he himself was 
perfectly sober at the time ; that Alden however was just sober enough to 
walk ; he stayed at Alden's house about three minutes, during which time he 
noticed that there was a larger fire burning on the hearth in the kitchen than was 
usual at that time of the year : he said Alden appeared in good health, and 
that no ill words passed between the deceased and the prisoner in his pre- 
sence : he proceeded home in the direction of Thetford, and saw no one on 
the road. This witness described Alden's house to consist of a kitchen and 
bed-room both on the same floor, and separated from each other by a small 
narrow passage ; he saw no one in the house except the prisoner, the de- 
ceased, and a little boy, about seven years old. 

Charles Hill, of Attleburgh, stated that on the morning of Sunday, the 19th, 
he rose between two and three o'clock to go to Shelfanger-Hall, about ten 
miles from Attleburgh, to see his daughter. The morning being wet, he 
took the turnpike road, in the direction to Thetford, and passed by Alden's 


house, from which his own was only two furlongs distant. When he ap- 
proached the house of the deceased, he saw the door open, and the prisoner 
standing- within a few yards of the door : this was nearly at three o'clock in 
the morning-. The prisoner accosted the witness, and the witness replied, 
" Martha, what the d — 1 are you up to at this time of the morning ■?" She 
said, she had been down to the pit in her garden for some water ; the garden 
was on the opposite side of the road to the house : she also said, " she had 
not been long home from the town (meaning Attleburgh town), where she 
had been at the White Horse : her husband, and Draper, and herself came 
home together, and her husband was gone back again, she did not know 
where." The witness did not go into the house ; but, looking in, saw some 
old clothes lying in a heap next the hearth, which, on his inquiring, she said 
covered her little boy, who was asleep there. 

Sarah Leeder, widow, of Attleburgh, knew the prisoner at the bar ; she 
stated, that on Monday night, the 20th of July, the prisoner came to her house 
to borrow a spade, for that a neighbour's sow had broken into her garden, and 
rooted up her potatoes ; the witness lent her one, which was marked J. H. 
On the following evening (Tuesday, 21st), about eleven o'clock, she went 
out of her house upon the common, and in a pit or pond she saw something 
floating, which attracted her attention ; she went to the edge of the pond, and 
touched it with a stick, upon which it sunk and rose again ; but she could not 
discover what it was, and went home for the night. The next morning 
(Wednesday, 22d,) however, the witness returned to the spot, and again touch- 
ed with a stick the substance, which still lay almost covered with water; she 
then, to her great terror, saw the two hands of a man appear, with the arms 
of a shirt stained with blood. She instantly concluded that a man had been 
thrown in there murdered, and calling to a lad to go and acquaint the neigh- 
bourhood of the circumstance, went back in great alarm to her own house. 
In a quarter of an hour she returned again to the pond, and found that in her 
absence the body had been taken out : she then knew it to be the body of 
Samuel Alden ; his face was dreadfully chopped, and his head cut nearly off: 
the body was then put into a cart, and carried to the house of the deceased. 

The witness afterwards went to look for her spade, and found it standing by 
the side of a hole, which she described to look like a grave dug in the ditch 
which surrounds Alden's garden : she further stated, that this hole w-as open, 
not very deep, and that she saw blood spots near it. The witness then went 
into the house, and, entering the bed-room, saw the marks of blood on the 
bed's feet and on the bed tick : the wall, close against which the bed stood, 
was also stained with blood. 

Edward Rush stated, that on Wednesday morning, the 22d of July, he 
searched the prisoner's residence : in a dark chamber he found a bill-hook, 
which on examination appeared to have blood on its handle, and also on the 
blade ; but looked as if it had been washed. 

William Parson, jun. of Attleburgh, stated, that on Sunday, the 19th of 
July, between six and seven in the morning, he met the prisoner with a young 
woman, named Mary Orvice, on the turnpike road, not far from Alden's 
house ; the prisoner told him she had lost her husband ; that two men in sai- 
lors' dresses went past her house about two o'clock in the morning, and she 
had told them, if they overtook a man upon the road, to send him back ; but 
that they only gave her an indifferent answer, and passed on. She expressed 
herself very unhappy about her husband, and feared that he was either mur- 
dered or drowned. On the following day he saw her again ; she then said 
she had lost her husband, and that she had been above thirty miles that day 
to look for him. This witness further stated, that he was one of the persons 
who examined Alden's house and premises, on Wednesday, the 22d, and the 
two following days ; his evidence on this point agreed with that of former 
witnesses, and substantiated some additional particulars, namely, that the 
chimney-board, on the opposite side of the room to the bed, was marked wjth 
blood stains, which bore the appearance of an attempt having been made to 


scrape them off with a knife ; and that the wall of a narrow passage leading 
from the bed-room to the kitchen was in places discoloured with blood : 
he also found a sack upon the bed, with some spots of blood upon it, and a 
piece of another sack, which seemed to have been partly washed. In a shed 
adjoining the house, he likewise discovered another sack, concealed under- 
neath nearly a hundred flags of turf. 

Mary Orvice stated that she had been acquainted with the prisoner some 
time. The witness lives at her father's house, a short distance from the pri- 
soner's dwelling. On Sunday, the 19th, the prisoner asked her to go with 
her to her house : when she got there, the prisoner said to her, " I have killed 
my husband ;'' and taking her into the bed-room, showed her the body lying 
on the bed quite dead ; her account of the state and appearance of the room 
perfectly coincided with the description of former witnesses ; she also said she 
saw a hook lying on the floor, bloody. The prisoner then produced a common 
corn-sack ; and, at her request, the witness held it whilst the prisoner put the 
body into it ; the prisoner then carried the body from the bed-room, through the 
passage and kitchen, out of the house, across the road to the ditch surround- 
ing the garden, and left it there, after throwing some mould over it. The 
witness then left the prisoner. On the following night (the 20th), between 
nine and ten o'clock, the witness was again in company with the prisoner, 
and saw her remove the body of her husband (who was a small man) from 
the ditch of the garden to the pit on the common, dragging it herself along 
the ground in the sack ; and, when arrived at the pit, the prisoner shot the 
body into it out of the sack, which she afterwards carried away with her ; the 
deceased had a shirt on. 

On the prisoner being asked what she had to say in her defence, she told 
an incoherent story, which, however, seemed rather to aim at making the 
testimony of the last witness appear contradictory and suspicious, and to im- 
plicate her in the guilt of the transaction, than to deny the general charges 
which had been adduced against herself. The judge then summed up the 
evidence in a full and able manner: on the subject of Mary Orvice's testi- 
mony, his lordship remarked, that it certainly came under great suspicion, as 
being that of an accessory to the attempted concealment of the murder. 
Viewing it in that light, therefore, and taking it separately, it was to be 
received with extreme caution ; but, if it should be found, in most material 
facts, to agree with and corroborate the successive statements of the other wit- 
nesses, whose declarations did not labour under those disadvantages, the jury 
were then to give it its due weight, and avail themselves of the information 
which it threw on the transaction. 

The jury consulted together for a short time, and found the prisoner — 
Guilty. The judge, after a short address to the prisoner at the bar, proceeded 
to pass upon her the awful sentence of the law ; Avhich was, that on Friday 
she should be drawn on a hurdle to the place of execution, there to be hang- 
ed by the neck till she was dead, and her body afterwards to be dissected. 

The behaviour of the wretched woman during her trial, as well as before it, 
appeared in a lamentable degree to be influenced by a hardened and remorse- 
less spirit. She afterwards confessed the crime for which she was to suffer. 
The account she gave of the horrible transaction was, that on Saturday night, 
the 18th of July, she and her husband (who was at the time intoxicated) 
quarrelled, and he threatened to beat her. Alden soon after threw himself on 
the bed, and at that instant she formed the resolution of destroying him : accord- 
ingly, she ran into the adjoining room, returned with a bill-hook, which she 
held in both her hands, and striking him on the forehead instantly killed him. 
She further acknowledged that the girl (Orvice) had no concern whatever 
in the murder, but only assisted, at her request, in putting the body of her 
husband into the sack. 

On Friday, July 31, at twelve o'clock, this unhappy female was drawn 
upon a hurdle, and executed on the Castle-hill, pursuant to her sentence, in 
the presence of an immense concourse of spectators. 





In 1805, Francis Salis Riembauer was appointed to the situation of assist- 
ant clergyman in the church of Upper Lauterbach. He had filled a similar 
situation, for several years before, in various other churches. He had broug-ht 
with him to Lauterbach a high character for intelligence and polemical abi- 
lity, as well as for the fire and unction of his discourses, and the extreme 
sanctity of his life arid conversation. His appearance was prepossessing, 
his stature tall, the expression of his countenance serious but mild, his con- 
versation eloquent and instructive. A peculiar appearance of humility seemed 
to characterize all his movements ; he walked in general with his head sunk 
down, his eyes half-closed, his hands reverently folded on his breast. His 
sermons were composed in a strain of enthusiastic piety ; the necessity of 
an absolute separation from this world, and an exclusive devotion to the 
things of another, were inculcated with earnestness and perseverance. He 
was supposed by his simple flock to stand in direct communication with the 
world of spirits, who were said to haunt him in his chamber, beset him in 
his walks, and move from right to left when he raised his finger. If Riem- 
bauer did not himself promote these superstitious notions, he at least did 
nothing to discourage them, but accepted with his usual appearance of mild 
indifference the homage which was paid to him. 

His high reputation, however, though general, was not universal ; most of 
his hearers thought him a saint, but some doubted. A report had at one time 
been in circulation that his former colleague at Hofkirchen had warned his 
successor that he was little better than a wolf in sheep's clothing; and some 
of the more prudent among the rude forefathers of the hamlet rather discou- 
raged the visits, which he paid with singular punctuality to the female part 
of their families, for the purpose of confession or penance. His extreme 
mildness of demeanour and humility of aspect appeared to them overacted; 
and the refined and spiritual character of his doctrines somewhat inconsistent 
with the conduct which he shortly afterwards adopted. 

At Thomashof, in the neighbourhood of Ober Lauterbach, lived a family 
of the name of Frauenknecht, consisting of the farmer (an old man who died 
shortly afterwards), his wife, and two daughters, the elder, Magdalena, then 
about eighteen years of age, her sister, Catharine, six years younger. The 
whole family were distinguished for their probity, industry, and hospitable 
disposition, while Magdalena added to these good qualities a more than usual 
share of personal attractions. With this family Riembauer had very soon 
established a particular acquaintance. They were naturally flattered by the 
visits of one superior to themselves in situation and education, and still more 
distinguished by the sanctity of his character. But Riembauer carried his 
condescension farther than seemed consistent with the dignity of his priestly 
office ; for not content with merely visiting the family, he used to give his 
personal assistance to the old farmer in his field labours, and to perform all 
the duties of a common servant. Those who entertained an unfavourable 
opinion of him before, drew additional arguments in support of it from this 
singular conduct; but Riembauer proved to the majority of his flock, by the 
authority of Epiphanius and of church councils, that nothing was more com- 
mon in the primitive times of the church than this union of the spade with 
the crosier, and that there was something praiseworthy in recurring to that 
patriarchal simplicity. About the end of 1806, the parishioners were inform- 
ed that he had purchased Thomashof from the Frauenknechts for 4000 florins, 
and shortly afterwards he transferred his residence to that farm, still retaining 
his clerical office and performing its duties with the same zeal and spirit as 
G 10 


before, but combining them with agricultural labours, in which he was as- 
sisted by the family of the Frauenknechts, who, notwithstanding the sale, 
continued to reside upon the farm. 

The eldest daughter, JMagdalena, was to remain as cook in his family, and 
with this view she was sent to Munich in the beginning of 1807, where she 

remained for six or seven months in the house of the Registrator Y . In 

June, 1807, Riembauer himself went to Munich, for the purpose of passing 
his examination as candidate for a church, which he did with great credit to 
himself. Shortly afterwards (in the beginning of 1808), he obtained the 
situation of priest at Priel, sold oft' to advantage the farm which he had 
purchased from the Frauenknechts, and removed with them, Magdalena 
having now completed her culinary education in Munich, to his new re- 

Shortly before his removal to Priel, an event had happened in the neigh- 
bourhood which at first created a strong sensation, though the utter mystery 
in which it was involved seemed to have first bafiled and finally extinguished 
all curiosity on the subject. Anna Eichstadter, the daughter of a carpenter 
at Furth, had engaged herself as servant to a clergyman in the neighbour- 
hood, towards the end of October, 1807. She had obtained permission, how- 
ever, from her new master, to pay a visit to her relations before finally enter- 
ing upon her service. As a pledge for her return, she had left with him her 
silver neck-chain and otlier articles of some value. It rained in the afternoon 
when she set out, and at her request he lent her a green umbrella, on the 
handle of which the initials of his name, J. D. were engraved. Several 
days elapsed, but she did not return. Among others whom she had men- 
tioned she intended to visit, was Riembauer, with whom she said she had 
been acquainted while she had been in the service of his former colleague 
at Hirnheim. To him, accordingly, her new master wrote, after some days 
had elapsed, mentioning that if she felt reluctant to return to his service, she 
might at least send back his umbrella. Riembauer replied that he had seen 
neither the one nor the other, and expressed some astonishment that such an 
application should have been made to him. IMonths passed on, but Eich- 
stadter did not appear. The investigations which were resorted to threw no 
light upon her disappearance ; her previous character appeared to have been 
somewhat light, and her reputation for virtue more than doubtful, but nothing 
came out which could afford any explanation of her fate. The common con- 
jecture was, that she had either been drowned, or had fallen into the hands 
of a notorious robber and murderer, who was executed about a year after- 
wards. Graduall)^ however, the matter ceased to be talked of, and her fate, 
even by her relations, was forgotten. 

It was some months after her disappearance that Riembauer removed with 
the Frauenknecht family from Thomashof to Priel. This association, how- 
ever, was not destined to be of long continuance ; the widow Frauenknecht 
died on the 16th of June, 1809, after a short illness, and her daughter IMag- 
dalena followed her five days afterwards. The younger daughter, Catherine, 
who had never been on good terms with her sister or with Riembauer, had 
left the family a short time before. After the death of her mother and sister, 
she had lived as a domestic in different families, in all of which she was 
remarkable for the singular melancholy, the air of anxiety and restlessness 
which marked her conduct ; solitude seemed irksome to her ; to sleep alone 
at night was an object of terror, and these feelings seemed rather to increase 
with years than to become less lively. Sometimes she let fall expressions 
as to some woman whom she could not get out of her head, and whose figure, 
she said, followed her wherever she went. With these, too, at times, the 
name of Riembauer was joined, as having had a principal part in those scenes 
by the remembrance of which she appeared to be haunted. To some of her 
intimate friends she ventured at last to be more explicit; she stated in plain 
terms that Riembauer had been the murderer of a woman at Thomashof in 



1807, that she had herself been unwittingly a witness to the deed, and that 
this atrocity had been followed by other crimes, which till that moment had 
been unsuspected. 

At last, in 1813, she laid her information formally before the Landgericht 
at Landshut, to the following effect : That during the period when her sister 
Magdalena and Riembauer were both in Munich in 1807, the one in the ser- 
vice of the registrator, the other preparing for his examination, a woman 
presented herself suddenly at Thomashof. She announced herself as a niece 
of Riembauer, and being informed that he was then in Munich, demanded 
the key of his room, which she, Catherine, who was the only person then in 
the house, at first refused. On the arrival of her mother, however, the key 
was given to her, and she immediately proceeded with it to the room, which 
she searched as if the house had been her own. She remained that night, 
and next morning, when she went away, stated that she had not found her 
money as she expected, but that she had left a sealed packet for the priest. 

On Riembauer's return, which took place about eight days afterwards, he 
merely remarked, on being told of this domiciliary visit, that it was a niece 
of his to whom he owed some money. About the 2d of November, in the 
same year, Catherine and her mother had returned from the field somewhat 
later than Magdalena and Riembauer; when they drew near the door of the 
house, they thought they heard in the upper floor a singular noise — whether 
laughing, weeping, or groaning, they could hardly distinguish ; as they en- 
tered, however, Magdalena flew to meet them with the frightful intelligence, 
that a stranger, representing herself as a niece of Riembauer, had arrived 
shortly before ; that Riembauer, after taking her up to his room, had come down 
on pretence of getting her some refreshment, and taken his razor; and that she 
had followed him up-stairs, and through the key-hole had seen him draw near 
to the unfortunate woman with expressions of endearment, and suddenly 
plunge it into her throat. Even while Magdalena was thus speaking, the 
groans of the victim and the voice of Riembauer, loud and threatening, were 
distinctly heard from above. As if fascinated by the terrors of the scene, 
Catherine ran up-stairs, and saw through the key-hole the priest kneeling 
over the body of his victim, from which the blood flowed in streams, and 
which was still heaving with a convulsive motion. 

Overpowered with fear, she rejoined her mother and sister in the room 
below. Shortly afterwards the door of the upper room opened, and the priest 
came down, his hands and sleeves dropping with blood, the razor still in his 
right hand. He went into the room to her mother and sister, told them that 
the woman had constantly persecuted him for money on account of a child 
which she had borne to him ; that she had just been demanding from him 
one hundred or two hundred florins, and threatening him with exposure in 
case of refusal ; and that not having the money, he had no other alternative 
left but that of silencing her complaints and her testimony for ever. The 
mother at first threatened him with the immediate disclosure of the murder ; 
but at last moved, by the desperation of Riembauer, who had seized a rope 
and announced his resolution of committing suicide, they consented to keep 
the murder secret, and to assist him, if necessary, in the disposal of the 

The place chosen for this purpose was a little room adjoining the stable, 
where a hole was dug by Riembauer for its reception. At midnight on the 
3d of November, Catherine said she was awakened by the noise, and saw 
from the door of her own room Riembauer descend, dragging the body behind 
him still dressed, and with the head hanging down. Coming down after- 
wards, she saw him employed in heaping earth upon the body. The spots 
of blood along the passage he washed out with his own hands; those in his 
room, which had already become dry, he carefully effaced from the floor by 
means of a plane, and threw the chips into the stove. A woman's shoe, 
which the house dog was found dragging next morning about the court, 


Catherine took up and delivered to Riemhauer, though she could not say how 
he had afterwards disposed of it. The inquiries of their neighbours, some of 
whom liad heard the disturbance which had taken place the evening before, 
they answered by saying, that some discussion had arisen relative to the pur 
chase price of Thomashof, which had ended in an altercation between them 
and Riemhauer. 

From this moment, however, the friendly intercourse which had subsisted 
between Riemhauer and the Frauenknechts was at an end. Reproaches on 
the one hand, anxiety and the fear of detection on the other, rendered their 
residence at Priel irksome to all. Quarrels followed ; Magdalena threatened 
to leave his service, and the fear of exposure began daily to recur more and 
more vividly to his mind. Immediately afterwards followed the illness and 
death of her mother and sister. No medical attendant was called during 
their illness, no clergyman was allowed to approach them, their medicines 
were all ordered and administered by Riemhauer himself. The body of 
Magdalena after death was found strangely swollen and covered with spots, 
the blood gushed from her mouth and nose ; the apothecary who saw the 
body (»-i;er death, conceived she had been in a state of pregnancy, and from 
all this Catherine drew the conclusion that her mother and sister had been 

Even before the sudden death of her mother and sister, Catherine had 
been warned by the latter that Riemhauer had designs upon her life, and 
acting upon this advice she had left his house. Subsequently to this he had 
made attempts to induce her to return to his service, by promises of a large 
marriage portion, and other advantages; but determined not to trust herself 
again in his hands, she had declined all his proposals. 

The young woman who had fallen a victim to the treacherous attack of 
Riemhauer, she described as a person of about twenty-two years of age, tall, 
and rather handsome ; she was dressed in the garb of a peasant, and had 
brought with her a green umbrella, upon which were marked the initials 
J. D. This umbrella Riemhauer had retained, and it was still in his pos- 

The events thus disclosed by Catherine Frauenknecht, on the one hand so 
strange and (looking to the previous character of the alleged criminal) so 
unlikely, were on the other so consistent and well-connected, and the narra- 
tion given with so much apparent calmness, distinctness, and confidence, that 
the court before which the information was first laid ordered an immediate 
inspection of the scene of the alleged murder, the farm-house of Thomashof, 
which, as already mentioned, was now no longer in the hands of Riemhauer. 
The result of the examination was such as to confirm in most of its impor- 
tant features the information of Catherine Frauenknecht. In the room ad- 
joining the stable, as described by her, were found a skeleton and a woman's 
shoe ; in that which had been inhabited by Riemhauer stains were detected 
on the floor, which, when moistened with warm water, were found to be the 
marks of blood ; several of the planks in the flooring were marked with 
hollows and rough edges, as if a plane had been applied to them; and Mi- 
chael, one of the neighbours, recollected being applied to for the use of a 
plane by the members of Frauenknecht's fiimily about six years before. 
The result of this inquisition led to the immediate arrest of Riemhauer. His 
apprehension seemed to excite in him neither surprise nor fear. If he was 
guilty of the atrocities ascribed to him, he was at least far too cool and cir- 
cumspect either to betray any tokens of emotion, or to make his case worse 
by affecting ignorance of matters which he knew were capable of being 
proved. His policy, if such it were, was of a higher kind, and the course 
he adopted only reconcilable with the notion either of perfect innocence, or 
of the most hardened and calculating guilt. He admitted almost every thing 
which had been stated by Catherine Frauenknecht, but he gave to the whole 
a turn consistent with his own innocence of the murder. 


Though he had heard nothing of the substance of Catherine's deposition, 
he did not affect to doubt that the death of Anna Eichstadter was the cause 
of his apprehension. He admitted at once that he had been acquainted with 
her (though he denied that their acquaintance had been at all of a criminal 
nature) while assistant at Hirnheim ; that in consequence of the confidence 
she reposed in him she had placed in his hands fifty florins of her savings, 
and had begged to be taken into his service, which he had promised to do in 
the event of her future good conduct. Since he left Hirnheim he had neither 
seen nor heard any thing of her, except that while at Pirkwang she had twice 
sent messages to him for part of the money in his hands. In 1807, while 
he was in Munich, she had made her appearance one day at Thomashof, and 
to the great annoyance of the Frauenknecht family, had communicated to 
them the promise which had been made to her, that she should be taken into 
his service as cook. This intelligence rankled in their minds, and they de- 
termined by every means in their power to prevent it. It was about eight 
days after the death of old Frauenknecht that Reimbauer, one evening in the 
twilight, returned to Thomashof from Lauterbach, where he had been per- 
forming a service for the dead. Meeting no one in the passage, he walked 
straight up to his room, where he found the door open. On the floor lay a 
figure extended and motionless, and on approacliing it he found, to his con- 
sternation, that it was the lifeless body of a woman. He ran into the room 
above, where he found Magdalena and her mother clinging to each other, and 
trembling like aspen leaves. They wept and conjured him to be silent. 
They then informed him that the same woman who had visited them at 
Thomashof in summer had again made her appearance that evening, and 
demanded admittance into his room, insisting that she was to be received 
into the house as cook, and that the Frauenknechts would soon be sent about 
their business. This statement led to reproaches; reproaches to blows. The 
stranger either struck or attempted to strike Magdalena, who thereupon had 
seized Riembauer's razor and inflicted on her a mortal wound. On hearing 
this story he had kindled a light, and entering the room again, recognised in 
the murdered woman Anna Eichstadter. He at first protested that he would 
instantly leave the house — that he could not remain longer in their society : 
but at last, overcome by their tears and entreaties, he was rash, and. as he 
now deeply regretted, guilty enough to agree to remain and to assist them 
in concealing the crime, which he had come too late to avert. He had ac- 
cordingly dug a grave for the body in the stable, and had interred it at mid- 
night, as described in the information of Catherine Frauenknecht. The poi- 
soning of Magdalena and her mother, he entirely denied. 

Such were the conflicting accounts given by Catherine and Riembauer as 
to the circumstances. According to both it was obvious that a murder had 
taken place at Thomashof, and that Eichstadter had been the victim; the 
remaining question was, by whom had it been committed ? — by the pious 
Riembauer, hitherto looked upon as a pattern of goodness — or the young 
Magdalena, whose character for gentleness in the neighbourhood was scarcely 
less established ? In either view of the case there were doubts to be cleared 
up. If, according to Riembauer's statement, Magdalena was the murderess, 
the cause assigned seemed insufficient to account for so sudden and complete 
a change of disposition, or so desperate and atrocious a deed ; while the 
improbability was increased by the consideration that while Magdalena was 
of a slight and feeble frame, Eichstadter was tall, in good health, of great 
corporeal strength, and a complete overmatch for her opponent. On the 
other hand, Catherine's story was not without its difficulties. At the period 
to which her evidence related she was only twelve years of age, and the 
self-possession which she had displayed, and the minuteness of her details, 
indicated an unusual and almost surprising degree of presence of mind and 
retentiveness of memory. She herself admitted that Riembauer and she had 
never been on good terms. Her statement that she had heard the words of 


the deceased from the upper room, when by her own account her throat had 
been cut some time before, seemed to be of a most improbable nature ; and 
finally, there was as yet a want of any sufficient motive which could account 
for the deed, on the supposition that Riembauerwas the murderer. As to the 
charge of poisoning-, that rested only on her impression, arising from circum- 
stances, which, though suspicious, were certainly far from being conclusive 
against Riembauer, 

The reason, however, which, according to Catherine's account, he had 
assigned to her mother and sister for the intrusion of Eichstadter, suggested 
the propriety of an immediate inquiry into Riembauer's former life and moral 
habits; and a minute investigation into these particulars, from his youth, 
during his successive residences at Heerwahl, Obergleim, Hofkirchen, Hirn. 
heim, Sollach, Pfarrkopf, Pondorf, Pirkwang, and Priel, was set on foot. 
While this was proceeding, it was found that a regular system of suborna- 
tion had been begun by Riembauer even in prison ; that he had written letters 
to several of his acquaintances, endeavouring to prevail upon them to give 
evidence that Magdalena had, during her life-time, confessed the murder of 
Eichstadter; and to his own servaut, Anna "VVeninger, directing her imme- 
diately to destroj^ the umbrella alluded to in the previous detail.* No sooner 
did he find by the change in his attendants that these attempts had been 
detected, than he solicited an interview with the judge; told him voluntarily 
that under the influence of a melancholy to which he was subject, he had 
written certain letters, the contents of which he did not know ; and begged 
him, should they be found to contain any thing injurious to him, to ascribe 
it entirely to the influence of that state of mind under which they were 

The result of the investigation into the previous life of the priest strongly 
confirmed the evidence of Catherine, by showing that Riembauer's preten- 
sions to sanctity were totally without foundation; that in all or most of his 
previous residences the proofs of his licentiousness were still extant ; while 
he had more than once resorted to the most infamous means to prevent the 
consequences of his crimes from coming to light. It was proved that a 
criminal intercourse had subsisted between him and Eichstadter, begun 
while he was chaplain at Hirnheim, and continued from time to time down 
to 1807; that a child, born at Ratisbon, and baptized under a false name, had 
been the fruit of this connexion ; that some months before her disappear- 
ance he had visited her at Ratisbon ; that she had been seen on that occasion 
to accompany him part of the way on his return, along with her child ; and 
that they had parted in anger, and with gestures of a menacing nature. 

The improbability of Catherine's story, arising from the previous charac- 
ter of Riembauer, was thus at once removed ; while a suflicient motive for 
the murder of Eichstadter — the necessity of getting rid of one who was 
dunning him for money, and apparently threatening him with exposure — was 
now furnished by the disclosure of their connexion and its consequences. 
The main difficulty, too, in the information of Catherine, arising from the 
apparent impossibility of her hearing the words of Eichstadter under the 
circumstances stated by her, was obviated by the concurring opinion of the 
medical men, who agreed that in the event of the head being strongly bent 
forwards and downwards, it was perfectly possible that the words of Eich- 
stadter might have been distinctly heard, notwithstanding the previous sepa- 
ration of the wind-pipe. On the other charges against Reimbauer, the al- 
leged poisoning of Magdalena and her mother, little further light was thrown. 
It was established, however, that Magdalena, like many others, had undoubt- 

* In one of these letters, addressed to a priest of his acquaintance, he enforces his re- 
quest that he would give evidence in his favour by the Ibllowing considerations: "For 
the sai<e of our brotherly love; for the sake of my friends, who are in trouble on my 
account ; for the salie of the priesthood, u)X)n which a stain would be cast ; and for the 
sake of true behevers, to whom it might be a stumbhng-block." 


edly fallen a victim to his seductions, and that at the very moment when this 
consummate hypocrite vi^as undergoing his examination at Munich, in 1807, 
the unfortunate young woman, who, as already mentioned, had come there 
on pretence of learning cookery, was recovering in the very same house after 
the birth of a son. 

While the chain of evidence was thus winding itself closer and closer 
round the criminal, his calmness, his self-possessi-*a, his dexterity in evading 
such questions as he did not choose to answer, his ingenuity in reconciling 
his contradictions and inventing plausible theories, moral and physical, in 
support of his own version of the murder, seemed only to increase with the 
weight and force of the presumptions against him. He generally replied to 
the questions put to him with a bland smile; if at times he broke out into 
an expression of some warmth, he would beg pardon for the vehemence into 
which he had been hurried by a sense of Avounded honour; sometimes he 
would laugh aloud at the lies which he said the devil had invented against 
him ; sometimes, when pressed by an awkward inquiry, he would diverge 
into a strain of metaphysical subtlety, or endeavour to divert the attention of 
the judge by passing hastily to some other topic. When confronted with 
the witnesses, he attempted to influence their evidence by leading questions; 
by appeals to their compassion or their fears ; by artful but apparently 
straightforward examinations of the circumstances; by dissertations on the 
risk of error and the heinousness of rash testimony. When these arts failed 
to shake their evidence, he would relapse into his old preaching tone — ex- 
claim, " Qutti contra toi-re»tem .?" — a])peal to the Holy Trinity for his innocence, 
and protest that he was a defenceless sheep attacked on all hands by devour- 
ing dogs. Nothing was extracted from him which materially tended to 
strengthen the extrinsic evidence against him ; although he varied his story 
in particulars, he adhered pertinaciously to his leading point — that Magda- 
lenawas the murderess, and that he had been guilty of no other oflfence than 
that of having concealed the crime from motives of compassion. 

In this ineffectual struggle, during which the priest had undergone no less 
than eighty examinations, two years had passed on, and justice seemed fairly 
at a stand. Having failed to act on the understanding of the criminal, the 
judge proceeded, in a way calculated to astonish an English reader, and 
which we confess we find it difficult to reconcile even with the admitted 
rules of the German criminal law, to operate upon his imagination. The 
scene, it must be admitted, was got up with some knowledge of stage effect. 
On All Souls' day, the day on which, eight years before, the murder had 
been committed, a new examination was ordered. It began at four o'clock 
in the afternoon, and being directed to all the mass of evidence hitherto col- 
lected, and the contradictions and improbabilities of Riembauer's story, was 
prolonged till midnight. The judge addressed himself next to the conscience 
of the prisoner, and after concluding an impassioned appeal, he suddenly 
raised a cloth from the table, under which lay a skull placed upon a black 
cushion. "This," said he, "is the skull of Anna Maria Eichstiidter, which 
you may still recognise by the two rows of white teeth* in the jaws." Riem- 
bauer rose instantly from his chair, stared wide upon the judge, retired a step 
or two so as to hide the object from his eyes, then resuming his habitual 
smile and his accustomed tranquillity, he pointed to the skull, and replied, 
" My conscience is calm. If that skull could speak, it would say, Riembauer 
was my friend ; he was not my murderer." A second attempt to extract some 
admission from him was not more successful. When they held the skull 
before his eyes, he betrayed strong internal agitation ; but again he mastered 
himself, and once more repeated, " If the skull could speak, it would confirm 
the truth of my story." 

So ended this abortive attempt to effect by intimidation what they had 

* The deceased had been remarkable for the beauty of her teeth. 


failed to obtain by the legitimate mode of examination ; an attempt which 
for a moment almost placed this wretched hypocrite in the situation of a 
persecuted man. Feuerbach details this judicial melodrama without obser- 
vation, as if the whole were equally justifiable on legal and moral grounds. 
To us, we confess, it appears wholly indefensible on either. If the German 
governments have now abolished physical torture as a means of eliciting 
evidence, on what ground is this moral torture to be vindicated ? Is a man 
less likely to utter rash or dangerous admissions (of which the law in other 
cases refuses to avail itself) when the shock is administered to his imagina- 
tion, weakened and harassed by a long previous examination, and a confine- 
ment prolonged for years, than when his body is subjected to physical pain 1 
Above all, how can such devices be justified under a law, which, even in 
permitting the necessary examinations, expressly lays it down that no ques- 
tions, either captious (meaning thereby such as may involve the party in ad- 
missions without his perceiving their tendency) or suggestive in their nature, 
• are to be put to the prisoner ; nay, that the name of an accomplice, or any 
special circumstance connected with the fact, but not yet proved, shall not be 
suggested to him, otherwise the confession so obtained shall be of no effect! 
— {Jr'einliche Gerichis Ordninig, Art. 56.) 

The inexpediency of such mummeries is not less obvious than the injus- 
tice. As a means of eliciting the truth they are almost worthless, for theii 
effect depends chiefly on the state of the nerves and the early associations 
of the prisoner. When they are calculated to act at all, they are likely to 
operate against the innocent \A-ith scarcely less force than the guilty ; for in 
most cases the object of them, though he may be innocent of the specific 
fact charged against him, is generally so far mixed up with it as a spectator 
of the scene, or connected in some way with its actors, that unless he be a 
person of peculiarly strong nerves, there can be little doubt that such an exhi- 
bition at midnight, after an examination of eight hours, and a confinement of 
two years, would shake his mind from its balance, and might give birth to 
expressions or signs of emotion which would be interpreted against him. 
On the other hand, the hardened criminal, against whom it would have been 
most legitimate to adopt such a means of extracting the truth, is proof against 
them. Take any shape of superstitious terror that we will, " his firm nerves 
will never tremble ;" and he only becomes more resolute in his denials by 
perceiving the weakness of a proof which required to be eked out by such 
illegitimate means. 

So it was with Riembauer. For two years longer did he contrive to baffle 
all the efforts of his judges. The record of the proceedings in October, 
1816, already filled forty-two folio volumes. At last, however, his firmness 
gave way, and the cause of the change was nearly as singular as the other 
circumstances of this remarkable case. 

On the ^Oth November, 1S16, a Jew, of the name of Lammfromm,* was 
executed for murder at Landshut. Riembauer saw him led to execution 
from his window, and was observed to be much moved by the composure 
and cheerfulness with which he met his death. On expressing his wonder 
at the Christian way in which the Jew had terminated his career, he was 
told (what was the fact), that from the moment he confessed his crime he 
liad attained a calmness and cheerfulness of mind which had supported him 
in his prison, and accom))anied him even on the scaffold. This information 
"l-* seemed to have produced a great internal conflict in the mind of Riembauer; 
for some days he was restless, and ate little ; on the 26th he demanded an 
audience. It was the hundredth. If he came with the intention of confes- 
sion, however, he seemed to have altered his mind ; he fell on his knees, 
said he was weary of his existence, that he was haunted by a thousand phan- 
tasms in his prison; that when he attempted to pray, his voice was drowned 

* Lammfromm, " Gentle as a Lamb," a strange misnomer. 



by the sound of a funeral drum : every thinff, in short, except that he was 
guilty of the crime charged ag-ainst him. Again the judge took the trouble 
to cro over the manifold contradictions and inconsistencies of his story, and 
pressed upon him, that the visions which preyed upon his mind arose from 
his own troubled conscience, and that his only chance of relief lay in a full 
and open confession. Then at last his obstinacy gave way ; he begged the 
protection of justice for his children, and for his servant Anna Weninger ; 
" And now," added he, " this is my confession : Catherine has, in many 
particulars, told what was not true, but in the main she has spoken the truth. 
I am the murderer of Anna Eichstadter." 

We shall not enter into the details of the assassination, which was attend- 
ed, according to Riembauer's own account, with circumstances of the most 
revolting and treacherous cruelty. Suffice it to say, that the motive to the 
act was that which had been alluded to by Catherine Frauenknecht : that 
indignant at Riembauer's supposed preference for INIagdalena, whom she 
had in vain attempted to prevail upon him to dismiss, and at his refusal to 
supply her demands on account of his child, Eichstadter had made a last 
attempt to effect these purposes by her sudden appearance at Thomashof ; 
that she had enforced her demands by a threat of immediate exposure ; that 
Riembauer had pretended to yield to her importunities, and quitted the room 
on the pretext of getting her some refreshment, during which time he had 
prepared himself with the weapon with which the murder was committed. 
" I thought," said he, " of the doctrine of Father Benedict Stattler in his 
Ethica Christiana, which holds it to be lawful to take away the life of an- 
other when there exists no other way of preserving our reputation ; for repu- 
tation is more valuable than life itself. And we may defend it against an 
attack, as we should defend ourselves against a murderer." " Of one or 
both of us," reasoned Riembauer, " the hour is come;" and tranquillized by 
the doctrine of the Jesuit, he re-entered the room, seized his victim, and 
completed his crime with a barbarity, the details of which we willingly pass 
over. Horrible as the concluding incident however is, from the unnatural, 
blending which it exhibits of the language at least of religion with the 
details of the most remorseless guilt, it is too characteristic of the (almost 
self-deceiving) hypocrisy of the criminal to be omitted. As his victim lay 
struggling beneath him, he exhorted her to repentance, and gave her absolu- 
tionfas he observes, in case of necessity ! " While she lay on the ground, 
I administered to her spiritual consolation, till her feet began to quiver, and 
her last breath departed. I know no more," continued he, " of this sad 
story, but my deep grief and silent lamentation, and that I have often since 
applied masses for her soul." How completely does this last expression 
reveal the idea which this wretch had of the rites of religion, when he talks 
of applying a mass or two, as an apothecary would of applying an ointment 
on a plaster ! 

Of this singular trial, the sentence will probably appear to English readers 
not the least remarkable feature. After the evidence already alluded to, 
arising from the deposition of Catherine Frauenknecht, corroborated as it 
was by the real evidence of so many other circumstances, and finally by the 
confession of Reimbauer himself, could any one doubt that the punishment 
awarded must have been that of death ? And yet, although the case was 
successively considered by the tribunals of the first and second instance, the 
ultimate sentence, which was more severe tlian the first, was only imprison- 
ment for life : the reason assigned for not inflicting the higher punishment 
being, that Riembauer was not a person whose previous bad character was 
notorious, or who had been proved satisfactorily by evidence, independently 
of his own confession, to be a person likely to be guilty of the murder ! 



APRIL 11, 1815. 

Eliza Fenning was indicted for that she, on the 21st day of March, feloni- 
ously, and unlawfully did administer to, and cause to be administered to 
Orlibar Turner, Robert Greg-son Turner, and Charlotte Turner his wife, cer- 
tain deadly poison (to wit arsenic), with intent the said persons to kill and 

Second count, that she did cause to be taken by the same persons, arsenic 
with intent to kill and murder them. 

Third and fourth counts, as in the first and second counts, only charging 
the offence to be committed against Robert Gregson Turner only, and another 
count against Charlotte Turner only. 

From the age of about fourteen Elizabeth Fenning had been out in servi- 
tude ; and at twenty-two, in the latter end of January, 1815, being hired as 
cook into the family of Mr. Orlibar Turner, at No. G8 Chancery-lane, in 
about seven weeks from that time the circumstances unhappily arose which 
led to the unfortunate creature's being charged with an attempt to murder 
Mr. Turner's family. 

3Irs. Charlotte Turner sworn : — 

Q. At what time did the prisoner come into your service *? A. About seven 
weeks before the accident, as cook. — Q. Had you occasion to reprove her? 
A. I had, about three weeks after she came. — Q. What was her deportment 
after that, for the remaining month ■? A. I observed that she failed in the 
respect that she before paid me, and appeared extremely sullen. — Q. Did she 
after this, say any thing to you upon the subject of yeast dumplings 1 
A. She did, a fortnight before the transaction ; she requested me to let 
her make some yeast dumplings, professing herself to be a capital hand. 
That request was frequently repeated. — Q. On Monday, the 20th of March, 
was any thing said to you upon the subject of yeast? A. She came up into 
the dining-room, and said the brewer had brought some yeast. — Q. Had you 
given any orders to the brewer to bring any yeast. A. Oh no ! I told her I 
did not wish to trouble the man ; that was not the way I had them made ; I 
generally had the dough from the baker's ; that saved the cook a great deal 
of trouble, and was also considered the best. Having this yeast, I said it 
was of no consequence, as the man had brought a little, the next day she 
might make some, I told her. On Tuesday morning, I, as usual, went into 
the kitchen. I told her she might make some; but, before she made the 
dumplings, to make a beef steak pie for dinner for the young men. As she 
would have to leave the kitchen to get the steaks, I did not wish her to leave 
the kitchen after the dumplings were made. I told her I should wish the 
dough to be mixed with milk and water. She said she would do them as I 
desired her; this was about half-past eleven. She carried the pie to the 
baker's before kneading the dough commenced. I told her I wished her not 
to leave the dough, that she might carry the pie to the baker's. — Q. At 
about what time did she carry the pie to the baker's ? A. I suppose near 
twelve. — Q. How soon after twelve did you go into the kitchen again, after 
she had been to the baker's ? A. I gave her directions about making the dough. 
I said, I suppose there was no occasion for me stopping. She said, Oh no, 
she knew very well how to do it ; and then I went up stairs. — Q. How soon 
after that did you go into the kitchen again 1 A. Not more than half an hour. 
I then found the dough made : it was set before the fire to rise. — Q. What 
other servant had you? A. We have one more, a house-maid, Sarah Peer. 



Q. Where was she at the time the dough was made ] A. I had given Sarah 
Peer orders to go into the bed-room, to repair a counterpane. — Q. Then during 
the time that the dough was made, was any person in the kitchen but the 
prisoner ] I am certain there could be nobody. — Q. This was about half-past 
twelve I A. I suppose it might be half-past twelve. We dined at three, 
the young men at two. — Q. In the interval between half-past twelve and 
three, were you again in the kitchen ] A. I was in the kitchen two or 
three times, until the dough was made up into dumplings. — Q. Where was 
the dough 1 A. That remained in the pan before the fire for the purpose of 
rising, but I observed the dough never did rise. — Q. Did you take off the cloth 
to look at it ] A. I did ; my observation was, that it did not rise : and it was 
in a very singular position, in which position it remained until it was divided 
into dumplings ; it was not put into the pan, as I have observed dough ; its 
shape was singular ; it retained the shape till the last. — Q. It remained heavy- 
all the time 1 A. Yes, not rising at all. I am confident it never was med- 
dled with after it was put there. — Q. At about what time was the dividing of 
the dumplings to put them into the pot 1 A. About twenty minutes before 
twelve. I was not in the kitchen at the time. — Q. How late before had you 
seen it 1 A. About half an hour of that time. — One of the Jury. Did you re- 
mark to her the singular appearance of the dough 1 A. I did not remark to her 
the singular appearance. 1 told her it had never risen. The prisoner said it 
would rise before she wanted it. — Q. How many dumplings would there be 1 
A. Six. — Q. It was afterwards divided into six dumplings 1 A. Yes. — Q. 
About three o'clock did you sit down to dinner! A. I did : these six dump- 
lings were brought upon the table. — Q. Did you make any observation upon 
their appearance ! A. I did. I told the other servant they were black and 
heavy, instead of being white and light. — Q. Who set down to dinner with 
you! A. My husband, Robert Gregson Turner; his father, Orlibar Turner. 
I helped them to some dumplings, and took a small piece myself. — Q. How 
soon afterwards did you find yourself ill ! A. I found myself affected in a few 
minutes after I had eaten. I did not eat a quarter of a dumpling. I felt my- 
self very faint, and an excruciating pain ; an extreme violent pain, which 
increased every minute. It came so bad, I was obliged to leave the table. 
I went up-stairs. — Q. I believe you ate nothing else 1 A. Yes, I ate a 
bit of rump steak. — Q. Who had cooked that! A. Eliza. When 1 was up- 
stairs I perceived my sickness increased, and I perceived my head was swol- 
len extremely. I retched very violently. — Q. How soon after you had beea 
up-stairs did you find any of your family ill ! A. I was half an hour alone, 
and wondered they did not come to my assistance. I found my husband and 
father very ill, both of them. I was very ill from half-past three until about 
nine ; very sick and ill, retching from three till nine. The violence abated, but 
did not cease. My head was swollen, and my tongue and chest were swollen. 
We called in a gentleman who was near, and afterwards Mr. Marshall, the sur- 
geon. — Q. You applied for the nearest assistance you could get ! A. Yes. 

Cross-examined by Mr. Alley. — Q. This happened about six weeks after the 
girl came to live with you ! A. Yes. — Q. You had no other cause of com- 
plaint except that you forgave her! A. No. — Q. On that day the coals had 
been delivered, had they not ! A. I do not think it was that day ; the girl is 
here that received them : it could not be that day ; she had no occasion to 
receive the coals. — A. The prisoner herself was taken very ill, was she not ! 
A. I have heard so. 

Orlibar Turner sworn. — Q. On Tuesday, the 21st day of March, were you 
at your son's house in Chancery-lane! A. I was ; I dined there. — Q. Ycui 
dinner consisted of yeast dumplings, beaf steaks, and potatoes! .A It did.— 
Q. After some time, did Mrs. Turner leave the room indisposed ! A. She 
did, sir. — Q. After she was gone up-stairs, you did not know that she was ill ! 
A. Not at the time that she left the room. — Q. Some time afterwards did 
your son leave the room, and go down-stairs ! A. He did, sir ; and I followed 



him very shortly. I had gone into my parlour below. I came into the 
passage. I met my son in the passage, at the foot of the stairs ; he told me 
that he had been very sick, and had brought up his dinner. I found his eyes 
exceedingly swollen; very much indeed. I said I thought it very extraordi- 
nary, I -was taken ill myself in less than three minutes afterwards. The 
effect was so violent, I had hardly time to go into my back yard before my 
dinner came up. I felt considerable heat across my stomach and chest, and 
pain. — Q. Was the vomiting of the common kind ] A. I never experienced 
any before like it; for violence before: it was terrible indeed. — Q. How 
soon after did you observe any other of the family ill ? A. It was not more 
than a quarter of an hour when my apprentice, Roger Gadsden, was very ill, 
in a similar way to myself. — Q. "Was your son sick also? A. He was — 
Q. And while you and your son were sick, and Gadsden, were sick, where 
were you ] A. I was repeatedly in the parlour and the back yard. My son 
was up and down-stairs at intervals. Gadsden, I believe, was in the kitchen 
below. — Q. Did you observe the prisoner 1 Did she give you any assistance ? 
A. Not the smallest. We were all together alarmed. It was discovered 
that she did not appear concerned at our situation. — Q. I take it for granted 
that you had suspicion of arsenic"? A. I had; I made a search the next 
morning. — Q. You expected it was poison ] A. I did. — Q. Did you observe 
the brown dish or pan in which the dumplings had been mixed ? A. I did 
on the next morning, on the Wednesday morning. — Q. Did you find any 
thing remaining in that pan that appeared to be the leavings of the dump- 
lings ? A. I did ; it stuck round the pan. I put some water into the pan, 
and stirred it up with a spoon, with a view to form a liquid of the whole. I 
found, upon the pan being set down for a moment or two, or half a minute, 
upon taking it slowly and in a slanting direction, I discovered a white powder, 
at the bottom of it. I showed it to several persons in the house. I kept it 
in my custody. — Q. Did you show it to Mr. Marshall? A. I kept it in my 
custody for that purpose ; I locked it up until Mr. Marshall came. No person 
had access to it. — Q. Had any arsenic been kept in any office in the house ? A. 
It had. — Q. In what place? A. In a drawer in the office, fronting the fire-place 
in the office. — Q. W' hat was it in ? A. In two wrappers, tied round very 
tight : the words " Arsenic, deadly poison," wrote upon it. — Q. Do you hap- 
pen to know whether the prisoner can read ? A. I believe she can both read 
and write. — Q. [To Mrs. Turner.] Is that so, Mrs. Turner? A. Yes, she 
can read and write very well. — Q. Mr. Turner, was that drawer locked or 
open? A. It has always remained open: any person might have access to 

it Q. Who lit the fire, do you know ? A. It was the prisoner's duty to do 

so. — Q. Would she probably resort there for paper to light the fire with ? 
A. She might resort to that drawer for loose paper that was kept in that 
drawer: she might properly resort to it to light a fire. — Q. Had that parcel 
of arsenic been missed before that time ? A. I had seen it there on the 7th 
of March ; not since that time. Before the 21st March, I heard of its being 
missed about a fortnight. — Q. Did you make any observation about the appear- 
ance of the knives and forks? A. I did, which we ate the dumplings with. 
I have two of them in my pocket now, to show ; they have been in my custody 
ever since. I saw them with that blackness upon them the next day; it 
appeared upon them then ; there is some little rust upon them now. — Q. Did 
you, either on the day that this took place, or afterwards, speak to the prisoner 
about these yeast dumplings — what they were made with ? A. I did the 
next day. I asked the prisoner how she came to introduce ingredients that 
had been so prejudicial to us? She replied, it was not in the dumplings, 
but it was in the milk that Sarah Peer brought in. I had several discourses 
with her that day upon this subject ; during the whole of which she persisted 
that it was in the milk, as before described. — Q. What had that milk been 1 
A. The sauce only. The prisoner made the dumplings with the refuse of the 
milk that had been left for breakfast. — Q. Did the prisoner tell you what use 


had been made of the milk that had been fetched by Sarah Peer ? A. She 
did not. I asked her if any person but herself had mingled or had any 
thing to do with the dumplings? She expressly said, no. 

Cross-examined by Mr. Alley. — Q. In the conversation you had with the 
prisoner, did not you tell her that two months before you had missed the 
poison ? A. I did not. — Q. You say it was her duty to light the fire in the 
otfice ; did the clerks keep the door locked when they were not there ^ A. I 
do not know. 

Roger Gadsden sworn. — Q. Do you remember seeing in a drawer in ttie 
office a paper with arsenic ? A. I do, with " Arsenic, deadly poison," upon 
it. The last day I saw it was on the 7th of March. I missed it in a day or 
two after. — Q. Did you mention it in the office that you had missed it ? A. 
I did, sir. — Q. On Tuesday, the 21st of March, did you between three and 
four go into the kitchen ? A. I did, sir. I had dined at two. — Q. When 
you went into the kitchen, did you observe any thing there that came from the 
parlour table? A. I observed a plate there; in it was a dumpling and a 
half. I took a knife and fork up, and was going to cut it, to eat of it. The 
prisoner exclaimed, " Gadsden, do not eat that ; it is cold and heavy ; it will 
do you no good." I ate a piece about as big as a walnut, or bigger. There 
was a small quantity of sauce in the boat : I took a bit of bread and sopped 
it in it, and ate that. This might be twenty minutes after three. — Q. How 
soon after that time did any of the family become ill ? A. I went into the 
office. Mr. Robert Turner came into the office about ten minutes after, and 
said he was very ill. They were all up-stairs in the parlour. Not the least 
alarm of anybody being ill then. — Q. How soon were you taken ill ? A. 
About ten minutes after that ; but not so ill as to vomit. In consequence of 
the distress of the family, I was sent off for Mr. Turner's mother. I was very 
sick going and coming back. I thought I should die. — Q. Had the prisoner 
made any yeast dumplings for you the night before? A. She had, for 
supper. I, and the other maid, and herself, partook of them ; they were 
quite different from these dumplings in point of colour and weight, and very 
good. Q, \_By one of the Jury.'\ When the poison was missed, did you 
make any inquiry about it of the prisoner? A. I did not. 

Cross-examined by Mr. Alley. — Q. Do you usually keep the door locked 
when you are out of the office ? A. No. — Q. [By Mr. Gurney.'] Who made 
the fire in the office ? A. The prisoner. No person could go into the office 
until I did. Any person might go in and out in the day. At night it was 
locked. — Q. What was kept in that drawer in which the arsenic was kept? 
A. Paper. — Q. Court. Then your seeing her go to that drawer would not 
strike you as any thing extraordinary ? A. No ; I should not watch her to 
see what she did there. 

Margaret Turner sworn. — Q. Upon this melancholy occasion you was sent 
for ? A. I was. — Q. When you arrived you found your husband, son, and 
daughter extremely ill, did you not? A. I found them extremely ill. — Q. I 
believe, madam, you found the prisoner ill and vomiting ? A. Very soon 
after I was there she was ill. — Q. Did you say any thing to her while you 
were there that day respecting the dumplings ? A. I exclaimed to her. Oh, 
these devilish dumplings ! supposing they had done the mischief. She said, 
" Not the dumplings, but the milk, madam." I asked her, " What milk ?" 
She said, " The halfpenny worth of milk that Sally had fetched, to make the 
sauce ?" — Q. Did she say who had made the sauce ? A. My daughter. I 
said that cjmnot be, it could not be the sauce. She said, " Yes, Gadsden ate 
a very little bit of dumpling, not bigger than a nut, but licked up three-parts 
of a boat of sauce with a bit of bread." — Q. [Tb Mrs. Turner., Jun."] Was 
any sauce made with the milk that Sarah Peer fetched ? A. It was. I 
mixed it, and left it for her to make. 

Robert Gregson Turner sworn. — Q. Did you partake of the dumplings al 
dinner ? A. Yes, I did. — Q. Did you eat any of the sauce ? A. Not any 


portion of that whatever. — Q. Were you taken ill, sir 1 A. Soon after 
dinner I was, sir. I first felt an inclination to be sick : I then felt a strong 
heat across my chest. 1 was extremely sick. — Q. Did it produce any 
swelling in you? A. I was exactly as my father and wife were, except 
stronger symptoms. I had eaten a dumpling and a half. I suffered more 
than any person. — Q. Were your symptoms, and that of the others, 
such as could be produced by poison ] A. I should presume so ; all taken 
in the same way, and pretty near the same time. 

Sarah Feer sworn. — Q. You are a servant to Mrs. Turner! A. Yes. — Q. 
How long have you lived in the family ] A. Nearly eleven months. — Q. 
Do you recollect the circumstance of warning being given to the prisoner 
some time after she came ? A. I do, sir. — Q. Did you hear her say any 
thing after that respecting your mistress ] A. I heard her say that she 
should not like Mr. or Mrs. Robert Turner any more. — Q. On the morning 
of the 21st of March did you go for any milk? A. Yes, after two o'clock ; 
after I had dined. — Q. What had you eaten for dinner 1 A. Beef-steak pie. 
I had dined with the prisoner. — Q. Had you any concern whatever in making 
the dough for the dumplings'? A. No, sir. — Q. Or the sauce? A. No sir. 
— Q. Were you in the kitchen when the dough was made ? A. No, sir. I 
never meddled with it, or put any thing to it. I never was in the kitchen 
from the time I went up to make the beds, a quarter after eleven, until I came 
down again. — Q. You, I believe, had permission of your mistress to go out 
that afternoon ? A, It was directly after I took up the dumplings, and then 
I went out directly. I came home at nine o'clock exactly. 1 ate none of the 
dumplings myself. — Q. In eating of the beaf-steak pie, had you partaken of 
any of the crust ? A. Yes. I was not at all ill. I had eaten some dump- 
lings she had made the night before. I never tasted any better. They were 
all made out of the same flour. — Q. Had you any difference with your 
mistress any time ? A. No. 

Cross-examined by Mr. Alley. — Q. W'ere not the coals delivered in the 
house that day ? A. No. — Q. Then it is not true that you were set to watch 
the coals coming in ? A. No. — Q. As the dumplings were taken out of the 
pot you went out ? A. Yes. — Q. Had the prisoner and you been upon good 
terms ? A. At times, sir. — Q. When was the last quarrel ? A. Two or 
three days before she had taken something out of my drawer for a duster. I 
said, I did not like to lead that life, without she altered her temper. — Q. 
How long before that had you quarrelled with her ? A. About a week, or a 
week and a half. — Q. What might that quarrel be about? A. I cannot say. 
— Q. Was it the habit of your house for the servants to take their turns to 
go out of a Sunday ? A. Yes. — Q. Who did you go to visit on Tuesday ? 
A. My sister, at Hackney. — Q. When had you been to your sister's before 
that? A. About a month. — Q. Whose turn was it to go out before this 
Tuesday ? A. Mine. — Q. The prisoner lived seventeeen weeks in your 
master's house. Did it happen that you ever went to visit your sister but on 
a Sunday ? A. Never except on that day. — Q. I suppose you occasionally 
went into the office where these young men were ? A. Very seldom, — Q. 
You knew the waste paper was kept in the office ? A. Yes, but mistress 

always kept it up-stairs in the dining-room for my use Q. You knew there 

was waste paper in the office ? A. No, sir. I never touched any there. • I 
did not know it for a certainty. There might be waste paper there, but I 
never touched it. — Q. Did you not know there was poison kept there ? A. I 
never went to the drawer in the office, nor never knew there was poison kept 
there to kill rats and mice. — Q. [3//-. &urney.'\ You went to see your sister, 
that lived at Hackney ? Yes. — Q. And the reason yoii went away as soon 
as you took the dumplings up was to arrive there and see your sister in time 1 
A. Yes. — Q. Were the yeast dumplings made the nignt before different or 
not? A. Very different, and good, and of a different shape. 

Mr. Orlihar Turner. — Q. Did you keep this arsenic to poison the mice, 



that infested the office ? A. Yes, it was only to be used in the office to 
destroy the mice, and for no other purpose. This poison had not been used 
before for a year and a half. 

IViUlam Thisselton sworn. — I am an officer of Hatton Garden office. — Q. 
Did you take the prisoner into custody ? A. I did, on the 23d of March, the 
day before Good Friday. — Q. While she was sitting in the room in the 
office, did she say any thing respecting the poison or the yeast? A. I asked 
her whether she suspected the flour ? She said she had made a beef-steak 
pie of the flour that she made the dumplings with ; that she, and her fellow 
servants, and one of the apprentices, had dined off the pie. I then observed, 
if there was any thing bad in that flour, it must have hurt them as well as her. 
She said, she thought it was in the yeast ; she saw a red settlement in the 
yeast after she had used it. 

Joseph Penson sworn. — Q. You are a servant to Mr. Edmonds, the brewer 
in Gray's Inn Lane ? A. Yes. — Q. Were you in the habit of leaving table 
beer at Mr. Turner's I A. Yes. — Q. Had the prisoner made any application 
to you respecting yeast ] A. Yes, she asked me on Thursday. I told her, 
if I came that way on Saturday, I would bring her a bit ; if not, on Monday. 
I brought the yeast on Monday morning. I took it out of the stilliards where 
the casks lay ; out of the yeast for bakers. 

Cross-examined by Mr. Jilley. — Q. When you brought the yeast to the house, 
you gave it to the last witness, not to the prisoner ? A. I gave it to the 
house-maid : she brought me a pot, into which I put the yeast. 

Sarah Peer. — Q. What did you do with the yeast ] A. 1 emptied it into a 
white basin. I told Eliza that the brewer had brought the yeast. She took 
the basin. I saw no more of it. 

Mr. John Marshall sworn. — I am a surgeon. On the evening of Tuesday, 
the 21st of March, 1 was sent for to Mr. Turner's family. I got there about 
a quarter before nine o'clock. All the affliction attending the family were 
produced by arsenic. I have no doubt of it, by the symptoms. The prisoner 
was also ill, by the same 1 have no doubt. — Q. Did Mr. Orlibar Turner 
show you a dish the next morning ] A. He did. I examined it. I washed \ 
it with a tea-kettle of warm water. I first stirred it and let it subside. I ^ 
decanted it off. I found half a tea-spoonful of white powder. I washed it 
the second time. I decidedly found it to be arsenic. — Q. Will arsenic, cut 
with a knife, produce the appearance of blackness upon the knife "? A. I 
have no doubt of it. — Q. Did you examine the remains of the yeast \ A. 
Yes, there was not a grain of arsenic there ; and I examined the flour tub, 
there was no arsenic there. 

Mr. Gurney. — That is the case on the part of the prosecution. 

Prisoner''s defence. — I am truly innocent of the whole charge. I am inno- 
cent; indeed I am ! I liked my place. I was very comfortable. 

Gadsden behaved improperly to me; my mistress came, and saw me 
undressed : she said she did not like it. I said, " Ma'am, it is Gadsden that 
has taken liberty with me." The next morning I said, "I hope you do not 
think any thing of what passed last night." She was in a great passion, and 
said she would not put up with it. I was to go away directly. I did not 
look on Mrs. Turner, but the old lady, as my mistress. In the evening the 
old lady came to town. I said, " I am going away to-night." Mrs. Turner 
said, "Do not think any more about it: I don't." She asked Mrs. Robert 
Turner if she was willing for me to go T She said, " No, she thought no 
more about it." 

As to my master saying I did not assist him, I was too ill. I had no con- 
cern with that drawer at all : when I wanted a piece of paper, I always asked 
for it. 

The prisoner called five witnesses, who gave her the character of a good- 
natured and amiable disposition. 

The recorder concluded his charge in words to this effect : — 


" Gentlemen, you have now heard the evidence given on this trial, and the 
case lies in a very narrow compass. There are but two questions for youi 
consideration, and these are, the fact of poison having been administered, in 
all, to four persons, and by what hand such poison was given. That these 
persons were poisoned, appears certain from the evidence of Mrs. Charlotte 
Turner, Orlibar Turner, Roger Gadsden the apprentice, and Robert Turner ; 
for each of these persons ate of the dumplings, and were all more or less 
affected ; that is, they were every one poisoned. That the poison was in the 
dough of which these dumplings were composed, has been fully proved, I 
think, by the testimony of the surgeon, who examined the remains of the 
dough left in the dish in which the dumplings had been mixed and divided ; 
and he deposes that the powder which had subsided at the bottom of the dish 
was arsenic. That the arsenic was not in the flour, I think appears plain, 
from the circumstance that the crust of a pie had been made, that very morn- 
ing, with some of the same flour of which the dumplings were made, and 
that the persons who dined off the pie felt no inconvenience whatever : that 
it was not in the yeast, nor in the milk has also been proved ; neither could 
it be in the sauce, for two of the persons who were ill never touched a par- 
ticle of the sauce, and yet were violently affected with retching and sickness. 
From all these circumstances it must follow the poisonous ingredient was in 
the dough alone ; for, besides that the persons who partook of the dumplings 
at dinner were all more or less affected from what they had eaten, it Avas ob- 
served by one of the witnesses, that the dough retained the same shape it had 
when first put into the dish to rise, and that it appeared dark and was heavy, 
and in fact never did rise. The other question for your consideration is, by 
what hand the poison was administered ; and although we have nothing be- 
fore us but circumstantial evidence, yet it often happens that circumstances 
are more conclusive than the most positive testimony, and I will tell you 
why : — A fabrication may" * * * * * * 

** * ****** 

* * " The prisoner, when taxed with poisoning the dumplings, threw 

the blame first on the milk, next on the yeast, and then on the sauce ; but it 
has been proved most satisfactorily, that none of these contained it, and that 
it was in the dumplings alone, which no person but the prisoner had made. 
Gentlemen, if poison had been given even to a dog, one would suppose that 
common humanity would have prompted us to assist it in its agonies: here 
is the case of a master and a mistress being both poisoned, and no assistance 
was offered. Gentlemen, I have now stated all the facts as they have arisen, 
and I leave the case in your hands, being fully persuaded, that whatever your 
verdict may be, you will conscientiously discharge your duty both to your God 
and to your country." 

After the charge, the jury in a few minutes brought in a verdict of Chiilty .• 
and the miserable girl was carried from the bar, convulsed with agony, and 
uttering frightful screams. 

The recorder passed sentence of death upon her. '''' 

On June 26 (says the Annual Register), the day appointed for the execution 
of Elizabeth Penning, William Oldfield, and Abraham Adams, the public 
curiosity was strongly excited, and perhaps to a greater degree than on any 
similar event since the memorable execution of Haggerty, Holloway, &c. 
In the case of Fenuing many had taken up an opinion that her guilt was not 
clearly established ; for she had uniformly protested her innocence. The last 
interview between her and her parents took place about half-past one o'clock 
on Tuesday ; to them, and to the last momient, she persisted in her inno- 
cence. About eight o'clock the sheriffs proceeded from Justice Hall along 
the eubterraneous passage to the Press-yard. 

Fenning was dressed in white, with laced boots, and a cap. Oldfield went 
up to her in the Press-yard, and enjoined her to prayer, and assured her that 
they should all be happy. 


The sheriffs preceded the cavalcade to the steps of the scaffold, to which 
the unfortunate girl was first introduced. Just as the door was opened, the 
Reverend Mr. Cotton stopped her for a moment, to ask her if, in her last mo- 
ments, she had any thing to communicate 1 She paused a moment, and said, 
" Before the just and Almighty God, and by the faith of the holy sacrament 
I have taken, I am innocent of the offence with which I am charged." This 
she spoke with much firmness of emphasis, and followed it by saying what 
all around her understood to be, " My innocence will be manifested in the 
course of the day." The last part of this sentence was spoken, however, so 
inaudibly, that it was not rightly understood, and the Reverend Mr. Cotton, 
being anxious to hear it again, put a question to get from her positive words ; 
to which she answered, " I hope God will forgive me, and make manifest the 
transaction in the course of the day." She then mounted the platform with 
the same uniform firmness she had maintained throughout. A handkerchief 
was tied over her face, and she prayed fervently, but to the last moment de- 
clared her innocence. Oldfield came up next, with a firm step, and addressed 
a few words in prayer to the unhappy girl. About half-past eight o'clock the 
fatal signal was given. One emotion only was perceptible in Penning. After 
hanging the usual hour, the bodies were cut down, and given over to their 
friends for interment. 

The following paragraph relative to Elizabeth Penning appeared in an 
evening paper : — 

" We should deem ourselves wanting in justice, and a due respect for 
government, if we did not state that, in consequence of the many applications 
from the friends of this unhappy young woman, who this day suffered the 
sentence of the law, a meeting took place yesterday at Lord Sidmouth's 
office (his lordship is out of town), at which the lord chancellor, the re- 
corder, and Mr. Beckett were present. A full and minute investigation of the 
case, we understand, took place, and of all that had been urged in her favour 
by private individuals ; but the result was a decided conviction that nothing 
had occurred which could justify an interruption of the due course of justice. 
So anxious was the lord chancellor in particular to satisfy his own mind, 
and put a stop to all doubts on the part of the people at large, that another 
meeting was held by the same parties last night, when they came to the 
same determination, and in consequence the unfortunate culprit suffered the 
penalty of the law." 

Her funeral took place on the 31st. It began to move from the house of 
her father in Eagle-street, Red Lion Square, about half-past three o'clock ; 
preceded by about a dozen peace officers, and these were followed by nearly 
thirty more ; next came the undertaker, immediately followed by the body 
of the deceased. The pall was supported by six young females, attired in 
white : then followed eight persons, male and female, as chief mourners, led 
by the parents. These were succeeded by several hundreds of persons, two 
by two, and the whole was closed by a posse of peace officers. Many thou- 
sands accompanied the procession, and the windows, and even tops of the 
houses, as it passed, were thronged with spectators. The whole proceeded 
in a regular manner, until it reached the burying-ground of St. George the 
Martyr. The number of persons assembled in and about the church-yard was 
estimated at ten thousand. 

h2 12 




William Jones, a young man, twenty-two years of age, was arraigned 
upon an indictment, for the wilful murder of Betty Jeffs, widow ; and also 
upon a second indictment charging him with having stolen a coat, the pro- 
perty of George Holding. 

He pleaded guilty to the latter charge, and not guilty to the former. 

Mr. Adolphus stated the case to the jury : — A gentleman, of the name of 
Lett, was the proprietor of a house. No. 11 Montagu-place, Bedford-square, 
which he had left in the care of the deceased, who was a confidential servant. 
At seven o'clock on the night of the 31st of December, this poor woman was 
seen alive for the last time, standing on the steps of the door. On the fol- 
lowing morning, when some tradesmen, who were emplo}'ed about the house, 
arrived, they pulled the bell as usual, but no person answered. Being unable 
to obtain admission, they became alarmed, and, at length, by getting over 
the area railing, they effected an entrance into the house through a window. 
They immediately commenced a search, and, upon going into the servants' 
hall, the woman was seen lying dead on the floor, her throat cut, and her 
body strained as if she had been struggling with her murderer. There was 
no instrument of death near her, so that she could not have terminated her 
own existence. Her throat was cut through the windpipe, and there were 
several marks of violence upon her body. There was a mark on her face, 
as if it had been forcibly pressed down by a hand, while the act was com- 
mitting. There was also the mark of a shoe on her body, as if a foot had 
been pressed upon her when dying ; and there were other appearances about 
her, from which the medical gentlemen, who had examined the body, would 
tell them that it was impossible she could have done the deed herself. 
There was a mark of blood, as if from a finger, on one of the posts ; one of 
the deceased's pockets was turned inside out, the other seemed to have been 
overlooked, and had a sovereign in it. There was also the mark of a finger 
on her thigh. The drawers throughout the house had been ransacked. A 
bundle of linen was found, stained with blood. Two silver spoons and a 
•watch, which had been in her possession, were missing, and had never since 
been found. But the most important circumstance in the case was this, that 
near the body was found the lower part of a razor-case. This razor-case, it 
would be proved, was not the property of Mr. Lett, and of course not that of 
the woman : and this circumstance led to inquiry. The deceased was a 
widow, and had been married to two husbands. She had a son by her first 
husband, who was a manufacturer of artificial feathers, residing in Cursitor- 
street. The prisoner had been living in the neighbourhood of the Cobourg 
theatre, with a woman named Mary Parker, but whom he (Mr. Adolphus) 
would, for convenience, call Charlotte, as that was the name by which the 
witnesses were accustomed to hear her spoken of. The prisoner passed by 
the name of Edwards, and lived with this woman in a state of extreme 
poverty. He, a day or two before the 1st of January, had borrowed a razor 
of a Mrs. Williams, who had four razors, which had belonged to her hus- 
band. Two of these were in one case ; another had no case ; and a fourth 
was in a single case. It was the one in the single case which the prisoner 
borrowed. As soon as this woman saw the case found near the deceased, she 
recognised it at once as that which she had lent to the prisoner. Further, 
the razor, which had been in that case, was found in the prisoner's posses- 
sion, and no case belonging to it could be found, except the one in question. 
It would also be shown, that, shortly before the murder, the prisoner was in 
great poverty, had no money, and lay in bed, only a morning or two previously. 


in want of a sixpence to procure a breakfast. In a day or two after, he 
was seen with money in his possession, displaying a crown-piece, treating a 
person to gin, and taking his woman to the Olympic theatre. The prisoner's 
father having died recently, Charlotte observed him one morning in grief, and 
having learned the cause, she asked him who had informed him of it. He 
told her she did not know the person. This would be important, because it 
was only through the deceased, who had mentioned it to her son, that he 
could have learnt it. At nine o'clock on the night of the murder, the de- 
ceased called the pot-boy, who was going round with beer, and took a pint 
from him, which was double her usual quantity, and looked as if she had 
somebody with her to share it. It would be further shown, that a washer- 
woman, who had been taking linen from Mr. Sergeant Bosanquet's house, in 
a cart, heard a scream at about half-past nine o'clock, which was also heard by 
the man who drove the cart. The horse was then just put in motion, and they 
took no further notice of it until they were apprized of the murder by the 
public prints, when they immediately recollected the circumstance. The 
fact, however, would be shaken as to the time, by the watchman, who said he 
saw Mrs. Jeffs at the door, talking to a man and woman, at half-past ten 
o'clock on that night. But the time was not very material. It would be for the 
prisoner to account for his time, the mode in which it was passed after seven 
o'clock, when he and Charlotte went out together ; she going to Fleet-street, 
to pursue her nightly avocation, and parting from him at the corner of Bride- 
lane ; from which she saw no more of him until twelve o'clock. 

The following were the principal Avitnesses : — 

Paul Dent. — On the 1st of January, I was directed to go to the house of 
Mr. Lett, in Montagu-place. I rung the bell, but could get no admittance, 
and then I and a man named Bonnicke went round through the next house, 
No. 12, to the back area of No. 11. We got in through the window, and 
opened the door to Hawkins, Judge Holroyd's butler. We then exa- 
amined the rooms up-stairs, and found nobody. The bed had not been 
used. As it was getting dark, we procured a light from the next house, 
and, on going into the servants' hall, found the body of the deceased. The 
head was next the window, about four yards from it. The body was lying 
on the right side. The right arm was under the body. The left hand was 
clinched. The feet were placed straight on the floor, as if she had been 
standing on them, with her knees up. Her throat was cut, and there was a 
great quantity of blood on the floor, all on one particular spot. I don't think 
the body was ever moved after the throat had been cut. I observed a razor- 
case and a pair of scissors on the floor near her, on the right side. The left 
pocket was drawn outside her clothes. 

Cross-examined. — I observed a little work-box on the table with thread and 
cotton in it. There were two chairs, one on each side of the table, as if 
people had been sitting in them. I think I had gone into eight or nine 
rooms, including the drawing-rooms. I searched the rooms a second time, 
about an hour afterwards, with the officers. To the best of my knowledge 
there was something displaced in every one of them. The drawers seemed 
to have been rifled over in the front room. The things in the wardrobe were 
chiefly gloves and gaiters. In the cupboard, between the front and back 
bed-room, there were two or three boxes with feathers, and some of the 
feathers had been taken out. In all the bed-rooms the things had been dis- 
turbed and turned over. 

Alexander Bonnicke and Thomas B. Hawkins, servant to Mr. Justice 
Holroyd, gave a similar description of the state of the house, 

Samuel Furzeman, one of the constables of St. Giles'. — He was sent for, 
on the 1st of January, to the house. No. 11 Montagu-place. Got there a 
little after six. Up tv.-o pair of stairs in a drawer, witness found a glove 
with marks of blood, which appeared to be fresh upon it. In another drawer 
was part of a newspaper also stained with fresh blood. In the two-pair back 


room he found a bundle. Did not observe blood upon it that night. He 
locked up the rooms and kept the keys, until the coroner's jury sat upon the 
body, and then made fresh observations. Saw blood on several of the papers 
■which were about the feathers, and also on some linen. After the inquest, 
the keys were left in the possession of Mr. Robinson. In consequence of 
information witness received, he went to 35 Mitre-street, on Tuesday the 8th, 
to look for a person of the name of Jones. Gardiner and Salmon accompa- 
nied him, and, in the course of the search, they stated the purpose for which 
tfiey came. In the back room he saw Salmon take up a shirt collar, which 
was now produced. Witness found a razor in the table-drawer, which he 
now produced. It had been in the same state ever since. It had one or two 
small notches, and the edge appeared to be turned. There was a stain upon 
it; could not say by what it was occasioned ; found a new umbrella there ; 
could find no sheath for the razor ; found the prisoner on the 13th in the city 
compter, where he passed by the name of Edwards. When he was brought 
out, witness laid hold of his left hand, and asked him what his name was 1 
He said Edwards. Witness said, " No, it is Jones." He first said, "No, 
it is not ;" and then said, " Yes, it is." Witness looked at his left thumb. 
He had a cut on it near the nail. Asked how long it had been done 1 He said 
six weeks. Witness said it appeared to him to be a fresh cut, and asked 
him how he had done it. He said in cutting wood with a knife. He had a 
blue frock coat on. He took it oiT, and said, " You see what a situation I 
am in ; I have not a bit of shirt to my back." Witness asked him what he 
had done with it"? He said he had pawned it at Mr. Turner's, Bridges- 
street, Strand, on the Saturday preceding; which was the fact. His coat 
appeared to have been sponged very recently in the sleeves, outside and 
inside, between the hand and the elbow. It was also sponged in the front. 
He said it had been sponged by the person who had lent it to him. Wit- 
ness thought he said it was Mrs. Williams' son who had sponged it. On 
Monday, the 14lh, they took him before the magistrates at Bow-street; 
whence he was taken to the house of correction. On Monday, the 28th, 
witness went to the house of correction and searched his waistcoat, and 
found a stain on the right-hand pocket, but could not say by what it had 
been occasioned. Witness had had the waistcoat in his possession ever 

The boxes of feathers, the umbrella, and waistcoat were here produced, 
and the witness was directed to point out to the court where he saw the 
marks of blood upon the papers containing the feathers. 

Cross-examined. — A person was examined on this charge previous to my 
search after the prisoner. That person was IVIr. Knight, son of the deceased. 
He was discharged. I examined the inside of the handle of the razor. The 
spot upon the blade looked as if it had been wiped. The handle appears to 
have been washed. I did not suspect the prisoner until three or four days 
after the murder. I have acted from that time to the present hour under a 
strong impression which might have influenced my judgment upon what I 
saw. W ith reference to the cut, I am of opinion that it was done much 
more recently than the prisoner stated. Upon opening the wound, I found it 
fresh and red. When at the compter, I did not make any inquiry respecting 
the sponging of the coat. It was my opinion that the waistcoat had been 
recently washed, but I made no remark at the time. I took it from the 
prisoner. I cannot say whether the trousers of the prisoner had been sponged 
also, but some parts of them appeared cleaner than others. I then asked 
Jones where he had been living. He answered, without hesitation, that he 
had been living with a girl named Charlotte Berry, in Mitre-street. The 
prisoner acknowledged also that he had been previously living in Windmill- 
street, and in Wootton-street, all of which I found to be true. I knew that 
the prisoner had gone bv the name of Edwards, and that he had a reason for 
so doingf. 


INIr. Samuel Plumb, surgeon. — On the evening of the 1st of January, I was 
sent for to Montagu-place. The deceased was lying on her back. The 
windpipe was divided ; and the wound was not such as the deceased could 
have inflicted on herself. Her eyes were open, her hands clinched, and 
there was a strong expression of horror in the countenance. I saw the 
marks of knuckles upon the left collar-bone, and on the left cheek I saw what 
appeared to me the mark of dirt, occasioned, as I judge, from the sole of a 
dirty shoe. I saw two slight marks of blood upon her right thigh, and also 
a single spot of blood upon her left thigh. I do not think that those marks 
of blood were occasioned by the wounds in the throat. 

By Mr. Justice Bayley. — I think that the division of the cartilage would 
have rendered the edge of a razor unfit for use. I saw the prisoner at Bow- 
street, and, at the second examination, I examined his finger, but I could not 
assert at that distance of time when the cut was inflicted. I think I could 
judge of a wound any time within three or four weeks. I examined the 
backs of the hands of the deceased, and found blood upon them both. The 
marks appeared to be of another bloody hand. 

James George Robinson. — I am not aware that any property is missing 
belonging to Mr. Lett. There was considerable property belonging to Mr. 
Lett upon the premises which might have been carried away. 

George Gardiner, pot-boy of the Gower Arms, Gower-street. — I knew the 
deceased Mrs. Jeffs. Saw her last about nine o'clock on the night of the 
31st of December, when I went with a pint of beer to her. She was talking 
to a man with a white apron, who was standing upon the mat in the hall. I 
did not see the face of the man whom I saw with the deceased. He had on 
a bltie^oat. The man was of a middle size. 

Mr. Justice Bayley. — Look at the prisoner, and say if he resembled that 

The witness could not say that the prisoner was the man. The coat, which 
the man had on, was such as gentlemen wear, not such as grooms wear. - ,. 

Elizabeth Evans, laundress, examined. — I was at No. 12 Montagu-place, 
on the night of the 31st of'December, about half-past nine o'clock. Heard a 
loud scream, proceeding, as I should think, from No. 11. The man who was 
with me thought the cry proceeded from a boy, and I thought it came from 
a bad woman. 

Wm. Cracknell was in the cart with the last witness, when the scream 
was heard. He looked round, and could see no one about. 

James Harmah, a watchman. — I was calling half-past ten o'clock on the 
night of the 31st of December, when I saw a man and woman talking to Mrs. 
Jeffs outside the door. Mrs. Jeffs had the door halfway open in her right 
hand, and a candlestick in her left. The man and woman came down the 
steps. They bid Mrs. Jeffs good-night, and, when I had walked a little 
way, I saw Mrs. Jeffs shut the door. I am the regular watchman for that 
beat, but I was not on duty the first night of the new year. The man had on 
a blue coat; I did not observe that he had any apron on. 

John Knight. — Knew the prisoner at the bar. His name is William Jones. 
The prisoner was on intimate terms with my family. He was in the habit 
of coming to my house, when my deceased mother used to visit me. The 
prisoner called with me at INIontagu-place, and saw my mother in Jul} last. 
I had seen my mother on December 30th, in good health and spirits. > 

Elizabeth Williams. — She lived in Valentine-row, near the Cobourg thea- 
tre. Charlotte Edwards lodged with her, as also did the prisoner Jones. 
He had passed under the name of Edwards, and lived with Charlotte as his 
wife from the 29th of October, to the 29th of December. The witness has 
two children, the eldest of whom is a girl, aged 14. When the prisoner 
lived in Mitre-street, she supplied him with the loan of a razor, by her little 
girl. She had four razors, a tortoise-shell case, and a black pair. For the 
black ones there was no case, and Jones got a tortoise-shell-handled razor in 


the case. [Here the case and the razor with which the murder was perpe- 
trated were shown, but the witness could identify neither.] They were 
like those which she had lent, but she could not undertake to swear that 
they were the same. She saw Jones on the 30th December, between ten and 
eleven o'clock. He was in company with Charlotte, and expressed his wish 
tliat she would lend him her razor, together with the loan of a silk handker- 
chief. Charlotte requested that the child might be sent to borrow a shilling, 
or even sixpence, as she wanted both fire and food. The girl was allow ed to 
go, but returned unsuccessful. She saw the prisoner subsequently, when he 
returned home in Charlotte's company. He remained but half an hour, and 
went out for the purpose, as he alleged, of going to a friend in the city. He 
was not in the habit of going abroad at that hour, but used to send occasion- 
ally to a person named Sells for the loan of a drab coat. She now lent him 
that belonging to her son; its colour was dark blue. [The coat which the 
prisoner had worn was produced, and identified by the witness as that which 
she lent him.] She saw Jones and Charlotte again on the 31st. There 
was no conversation about money on that occasion. On the morning of New- 
year's day, she was again in their company at Mitre-street. It was about 
eleven o'clock, and the prisoner was dressing himself to go out. He in- 
tended, he said, to borrow money from a friend. On Charlotte's inquiring 
where the money was to be procured, he replied that he had told her that 
before. On January 2d, she saw the prisoner in bed, when he informed her 
that he had left 2*. for her. Charlotte came in, and said that she could not get a 
newspaper. He asked her (the witness) whether she would be able to pro- 
cure him a newspaper. She made inquiry if a Sunday paper would 
answer his purpose ; on which they replied that they would want a paper 
of that morning. After this they all breakfasted ; she took her breakfast 
with them on their particular invitation. Charlotte and the prisoner had 
some angry words, and she breakfasted apart. He told them that he had 
received intelligence of the death of his father from a friend. Jones sat 
without his coat, which lay on a chair in the room, and fell during breakfast 
with a peculiar soui.d, as if there was silver in the pockets. The accident 
appeared to excite his attention. The prisoner then sent out money for a 
quartern and a half of gin, which the witness and he partook of. Charlotte 
declined drinking any. On Sunday, she (the witness) went again to Jones' 
lodgings, and mentioned that she understood the officers of Bow-street were 
in search of a person of the name of Jones, on a charge of murder (of his 
real name she had been previously apprized). Charlotte answered that it 
could not be he, as he had committed no murder. He said it was probable 
his friends w-ere in search of him, and had sent the officers to find him out. 
Charlotte expressed her fear that he would be obliged to go home in conse- 
quence of this information. The next subject of conversation was the coat, 
which Charlotte said it would be advisable to have washed. Jones observed, 
as he was going out, that he would require to be cautious in returning, lest 
any one should dog him home, and requested that she (the deponent) would 
not say any thing on the matter. She promised to comply with his request, 
and did not see him any more until in custody. 

Mary Anne Williams. — Was fourteen years of age, and had been sent to 
Jones by her mother with a razor-case on the Sunday before New-year's day. 
Charlotte was in the room the evening on Avhich she brought it. She (Char- 
lotte) was up, but the prisoner was in bed. [Here the case and the razor were 
again produced, but the child was unable to identify either. On this subject 
she gave precisely the same evidence as her mother.] They were like those 
she saw before, although she could not be certain that they were the articles 

Mary Parker, the person who had assumed the name of Charlotte Berry. 
was then called. After some time, she made her appearance, but in a state 
of such agitation as to be utterly incapable of giving her testimony, until 

FOR MURDER. <*■ * 95 

restoratives were used. She seemed greatly affected on seeing the prisoner, 
and fainted when placed in the witness-box. After she had been in some 
degree enabled to assume composure, Mr. Adolphus commenced her exami- 
nation. She was aged twenty-one years, and had passed under the name of 
Charlotte Berry for the last two years, the period at which she left her 
father's house. She was acquainted with the prisoner for five months previous 
to his being taken into custody on the present charge, and occupied the same 
lodgings with him, at the house of Mrs. Williams, for two months. She had 
since changed her abode. On the evening of December 31, she left home in 
Jones' company, and walked over Blackfriar's-bridge with him. They 
parted in Fleet-street, at the end of Bride-lane. At about half-past twelve 
o'clock that night, they again met in the same neighbourhood, near Poppin's- 
court. They were in the habit of meeting nightly in Fleet-street, at twelve 
or one o'clock. When she saw Jones, he was coming from the direction of 
the Strand. When they had parted, she was destitute of money, and she 
believed the prisoner had not any either. He was now in possession of 
money, but did not mention where he had obtained it. He said he met a 
friend, from whom it was borrowed. He had a few shillings, with which he 
accompanied her and her companion (another woman of the town) into a 
wine-vault, in Poppin's-court. They drank sixpenny worth of gin, and 
returned home by one o'clock. In the morning Jones went out at eleven, 
and came back again at three in the afternoon. On this occasion he brought 
more money, which, he said, had been borrowed. He gave her five shil- 
lings, three of which she expended in redeeming some clothes formerly 
pledged, and with the residue she purchased necessaries. While they were 
at breakfast the next morning, he said he cut his thumb, when in the act of 
cutting bread and butter. In the morning he and she went out and had 
some gin, for which Jones changed a five-shilling piece ; after which they 
went to the Olympic theatre. The day after, continued the witness, I 
was washing, but I do not think there was any thing remarkable on his 
clothes, unless a small stain on his shirt sleeve. He said it was occasioned 
by some pickle cabbage liqiior. In the morning he threw himself on the 
bed and began to cry. He told me he was informed that his father was 
dead. During this time Mrs. Williams was in the habit of calling to see us 
in Mitre-street. On the morning of the 2d of January, he directed me to get 
him a newspaper. 1 tried, but could not get one. In the evening Mrs. 
Williams came, and told us that the Bow-street officers were after Mr. Jones. 
After Mrs. Williams went out, I went down-stairs and requested Mrs. Sta- 
pleton to watch for us while we went out. She did so. I went out first, 
and Mr. Jones went out soon after. We met near the Surry theatre, and 
walked together some time, and slept in the city. This was on the 6th of 
January. We slept together the two following nights, and the third night we 
had no bed, and walked the streets all night. [Here the witness became so 
dreadfully affected that it was with difficulty she was prevented from fainting.] 
About seven o'clock the following Saturday, I heard that Jones was taken 
into custody. Mrs. Williams lent some things to Jones ; she lent him a 
razor. I did not notice a case with it. I was shown a razor-case at Bow- 
street, and think it was the one I saw in Wootton-street. I was likewise 
shown a razor, and believe it to be the one now produced. The razor-case I 
recollect by its being freckled a little, and by this mark (pointing to a mark). 
We had no money on the 3 1st of December to purchase us the necessaries 
of life. 

Mr. Plumb recalled, and examined by Mr. Justice Bayley. — The deceased 
could not have committed suicide, from the nature of the wounds. 

Mr. Justice Bayley then rose and addressed the prisoner, observing, that 
the time was now come, when, if he had any observations to make, he might 
do so. 



The prisoner bowed respectfully, and unfolding- a paper, in a slow un- 
broken voice read nearly as follows : — 

" My lord, and gentlemen of the jury, — I feel confident of your attention 
and favourable consideration of the few words I have now to address to you. 
If now for the first time you learned the charge against me, my situation 
would be one sufficiently alarming ; but how" much more frightful is it in 
consequence of the spreading, throughout the country, of details Vv-hich have 
excited universal horror. I will mention only one instance of the misrepre- 
sentation with which my name has been associated. At the very time when 
the bill against me was before the grand jury, a man was engaged near the 
Sessions-house blowing a horn, and circulating the report that I had made a 
full confession of this murder, and had committed suicide in the house of 
correction. I might complain also of the way in which every little circum- 
stance has been turned to my prejudice, but that I am willing to believe that 
a desire for justice was a part of the actuating motive. From tlse first mo- 
m.ent when this charge was brought against me, I have denied it. Would 
that I could with equal truth declare myself guiltless of all other offence, but 
I feel that I am obliged to make my own misconduct a part of my defence. 
Whatever may have been my errors, however, the slightest thought of murder 
never crossed my mind. I owe it to an aged mother and other friends, whose 
minds have already bled too much for me, to declare that I am guiltless of 
this charge. Thrown amidst the temptations of the town at an early age, my 
life was wild and dissolute ; dissipation led to crime; and at the time when the 
offence with which I am now charged was committed, I knew that a charge 
of forgery had been made against me, and thus it was that I fled at the ap- 
proach of the officers. With regard to my examination before the magistrates, 
I beg to say that many questions were put to me, that you, who value the 
principles of English law and justice, must condemn. I admit, however, that 
I did make a statement before the magistrate, but it is not true ; and thus, 
in order to avoid suspicion of one crime, I was obliged to confess to others. 
One of the presumptions against me is, that I was intimately acquainted 
with the unfortunate "Sirs. Jeffs. I solemnly declare, however, that I saw 
IMrs. Jeffs but three times in my life. The first time I saw her was at the 
house of her son, Mr. Knight, in Anderson's-place, Cornwall-road. The 
second time was at his house in Cursitor-street, when she told me she 
invited I\Ir. Knight's daughter and my sister to take tea with her, and she 
asked me to accompany them. The third time I saw Mrs. Jeffs was when I 
accompanied Knight's son and his sister to the house in Montagu-place. 
We saw Mrs. Jeffs upon that occasion but for a short time. I never saw 
Mrs. Jeffs after the month of July last. Mrs. JetTs, Knight, and I went to- 
gether to Montagu-place, when he went into the house, I believe, to ask for 
money. I saw her upon that occasion, which was some time in last July, and 
I never saw her after. I took the name of Edwards to avoid detection, know- 
ing that I had unfortunately rendered myself liable to the law, inconsequence 
of what I had done at Mr. Duncomb's. Under such circumstances, I should 
be more than insane to have gone to Montagu-place, where most likely I 
should have been refused admittance. As to my dress, and the circumstances 
of suspicion attached to the coat, I am enabled on the clearest proofs to answer 
that part of the charge. Mrs. Williams has a son employed by a surgeon who 
resides in Blackfriars-road. That gentleman gave him a coat which was da- 
maged, and the stains upon which were said to be occasioned by blood. In my 
distress I borrowed this coat, and unfortunately for me, the very worst construc- 
tion was put upon a circumstance purely accidental. In the same way 
the blood upon the shirt collar was made use of as a proof against me, and 
the waistcoat was said also to be stained with blood. As to the stain upon 
the collar, what becomes of it when it is proved in evidence that I cut my 
thumb. So little did the circumstance of cutting my thumb occupy my 



thoughts, that, when I was questioned about it by the officers, I totally forgot 
how or when I did it, and returned an answer at random. With respect to 
the razor-sheath, I beg leave, my lord and gentlemen, to draw your particular 
attention. I trust you will examine this part of the evidence carefully, and 
say if any one could swear to a razor-sheath, of which there are hundreds of 
a similar make and description sold daily in the metropolis. It is a common 
razor-sheath, and has nothing whatever about it to mark it as peculiar. 
With respect to the edge of it being notched, I can answer it. One day, 
when I was alone in Mitre-street, quite unconscious of what I did, I cut the 
razor-sheath bit by bit with the razor, and flung them into the fire. 1 am 
most anxious to satisfy you as to where I was on the evening of the 31st of 
December. Mary Parker and I left home that night, and proceeded together 
to Blackfriars-bridge. I went to the Adelphi theatre in the Strand, and 
remained there until the performances were over. I then joined Charlotte in 
Poppin's-court, about twelve o'clock. The bells of St. Bride's were then 
ringing what they call the New-year in. It has been said, if I was at the 
theatre, I could prove the fact, but it was impossible for me to do so, situated 
as I then was. It is not pretended that I am a hardened murderer ; and if not, 
is it likely I could be cheerful as usual, and have supported a falsehood by 
bringing Mary Parker to the theatre? My possession of money, soon after 
the commission of the offence of which I am accused, is another charge 
against me ; but let me remind you, gentlemen, that a person living the dis- 
graceful and irregular way in which I lived, may be one moment without a 
farthing, and the next possessed of money. And here, gentlemen, I must 
do justice to the unhappy woman who lived with me, by declaring that she 
was totally unacquainted with many of my offences, and that I carefully con- 
cealed them from her. There is one point I cannot pass unnoticed, I mean 
the letters said to be written by me in prison. The first letter I wrote, the 
second I know nothing about, and the third was written under the impression 
that I knew a person named Morris, at the White Lion, in Wych-street. As 
to the second letter, I only entreat that the manner in which it was obtained 
may be clearly stated. All I can say is, that I deny the letter. Gen- 
tlemen, without another remark, I leave my fate in your hands, under the 
impression that you will throw aside any prejudice that may have beea 
excited in your minds against me. The man who is dishonest may not be 
cruel. The thief may shrink from the crime of murder, and I can with truth 
declare that this has always been the state of my mind. No propensity to 
cruelty, or desire to commit violence on any human being, ever formed a part 
of the many evil inclinations by which I have been influenced. I do solemnly 
declare before God, that I am innocent of the crime of which I am now 

Several witnesses deposed that the prisoner bore a humane character. 

After Mr. Justice Bayley had summed up the evidence, in a charge of two 
hours, the jury retired for about twenty minutes, and brought in a verdict of — 
Not Guilty. 



This was as atrocions a murder as ever was perpetrated, and it excited the 
attention of the world in an extraordinary manner, owing to its having taken 
place without retribution, and to the measures which were oflfensively and 
defensively adopted to inflict and escape legal punishment. 

The evidence, like that in most cases of secret murder, was circumstantial, 
I 13 


but in this case the circumstances were so corroborative and conclusive, and 
afl:ected only by one piece of evidence (a vague estimate of time, and an 
alleged impracticability of going a certain distance in a time undetermined 
and assumed), so that all England was struck with horror at the turn of the 
proceedings at Warwick. 

It seems that about four o'clock the deceased was seen within a mile of it, 
walking towards the pit, where her violated body was found at half-past six, 
and that three or four persons swore that they saw the accused between four 
and five o'clock at a spot which was one mile and a half from the said 
pit, across the fields, or two miles and a furlong by the road. The judge, 
Holroyd, inferred therefore a clear proof of alihi, and hence the jury found a 
verdict of not guilty. 

The clamour on the subject was so great that Mr. Edward Holroyd, the son 
of the judge, published the trial, accompanied by observations and an ex- 
act plan. From this report we have copied the substance of the evidence. 
Thornton was the son of a blacksmith, and a young man of loose habits, and 
his father, a respectable man, acted also as steward to one or more non-resi- 
dent land-owners, and among others to the farm rented by Holden. Mary 
Ashford was a smart and pretty country girl, of twenty, living as servant 
with her uncle. After the verdict, Thornton returned to his father's; but 
his former companions avoided him, and on going once or twice to Birming- 
ham, crowd? assembled and insulted him. After the appeal, as public feel- 
ing allowed him no peace, he went under a feigned name to America, where 
he soon died, and in the mean time his father died of broken spirits. On 
one side, the enormous legal expenses were borne by public subscription, 
and the spirited conduct of Mr. Bedford, a Birmingham solicitor, and ne- 
phew of the magistrate, and on the other by the father and family of 

Mr. Clarke opened the case for the prosecution, and first called Hannah 
Cox, who stated as follows : 

I was acquainted with Mary Ashford ; she lived at Coleman's at Langley, 
about three miles from Erdington ; Coleman was her uncle; Coleman, her 
grandfather, lives at the top of Bell-lane ; she came about ten in the morn- 
ing of the 2Gth May, Monday, going to Birmingham market; she had a 
bundle with her, containing a clean frock and v/hite spencer, and a pair of 
white stockings ; she was to come back when she came from Birmingham 
to go to a dance at Tyburn ; she returned about six and changed her dress ; 
I fetched a new pair of shoes for her ; she left the clothes taken off in a 
bundle; we went together to the dance; Mary Ashford was in the dancing 
room ; I left the house between eleven and twelve o'clock ; I went out first 
and waited ; Mary Ashford was at the room door ; Mary Ashford came out 
afterwards and the prisoner with her; we went towards home; the prisoner 
and Mary Ashford went on first, and I waited a little ; Carter was with me ; 
I walked with the prisoner and Mary Ashford to a place between Reeves's 
and the Old Cuckoo, near to where the road separated to Erdington ; I walked 
on first, and saw no more of them ; I took the road to the left ; I went to 
Mrs. Butler's, and went to bed ; in the morning, twenty minutes before five, 
by my mother's clock (it was too fast), Mary Ashford knocked me up ; she 
came in in the same dress as overnight; her dress was not disordered, nor 
she ; she appeared very calm, and in very good spirits ; she changed her 
dress, put on her pink frock that she had in the morning, her scarlet spencer, 
and black stockings, but retained her shoes ; she lapped her boots up in her 
pocket handkerchief, and put the rest of her dress and some marketing things 
in a napkin ; she might be a quarter of an hour; she left me on that; I saw 
nothing more of her. 

On her cross-examination, she said — Her father lives at Erdington, a gar- 
dener ; I had seen something of Thornton between two and three times at 
her uncle's ; no appearance of female complaint when she went to the ball ; 


I had no idea of any then; her grandfather and father lived in Erdington ; I 
got up ; I did not take any particular notice of her dress ; she said she had 
slept at her grandfather's, about a quarter or half a mile from where I parted 
with her; I asked her how long Thornton had stopped with her; she said a 
good bit ; I asked her, and she said he was gone home. 

I was present part of the time ; she put on her stockings ; stood up ; did 
nothing more than change her dress, and go away; I did not observe the 
stocking she pulled off, nor her shoes ; I cannot say whether her frock was 
stained then or not. 

Benjamin Carter. — I was at Tyburn, in the room where the dancing was ; 
saw the prisoner and the deceased there, and they were dancing together ; in 
about a quarter of an hour after she came away, and the prisoner with her; 
they went on the road to Erdington together; I went up with Hannah Cox 
part of the same road ; we went on till we overtook them ; I went about 
twenty yards, and came back towards Tyburn ; they were going on the road 
leading to Freeman's ; I came back and overtook them between Reeve's and 
Potter's ; Hannah Cox was not then with them ; I came with them to Potter's 
house, and went home. 

John Hompidge. — On Tuesday, 27th May, I was at Reynold's at Penn's 
mill ; I was sitting in his house when I heard somebody talking, about two 
in the morning;* I saw nobody immediately; first time I saw a man and 
a v.-oman ; they were in the ford-rift (footpath) at a stile which leads into 
]3ell-lane ; when I got up to the stile, the prisoner was the man ; I bid him 
good morning; I did not know who the woman was ; 1 did not see her face, 
she held her head down so ; they stood against the stile ; I got within 
about a hundred yards of them before I saw them ; she appeared not to wish 
to be known. 

Thomas Jlspre. — On the morning of the 27th of May I was on the road ; 1 
was crossing Bell-lane, leaving that lane on the right, and Erdington on the 
left by Gree'nsairs ; a horse pU in the lane, against which I saw Mary Ash- 
ford; she was going towards Erd'ngf on, walking very fast, ciowi half-past 
three; she was alone ; I looked up Bell-lane in the direction in which she 
was coming, I saw no other person. 

Jjse'^h Daiv-on. I "-ot u" I thi:ik about four; £2,^ Mil'^ Ashfcid CCIH'"'^- 

from towards Erdington, I was going towards it; she was near Holmes. 

John Kesterton. — I live at Greensall's ; I put the horses to the wagon at 
four; and went straight off for Birmingham, through the village of Erding- 
ton; I had passed Mrs. Butler's a little way; I turned to look back; saw 
Mary Ashford coming out of widow Butler's entry; I smacked my whip; 
she turned and looked towards me; I saw her plain ; a quarter past/aw?-.- 
she turned up Bell-lane; she seemed to be going in a hurry; I knew the 
prisoner by sight hardly ; I saw him not, nor any but her. 

Joseph Dawson. — I knew the deceased ; saw her on Tuesday morning, 27th, 
at a quarter past four, as near as I can guess ; I spoke to her ; she asked me 
how I did, and passed on ; she had on a straw bonnet and scarlet spencer ; 
a bundle in her left hand ; this was near Holmes's; she was going towards 
Bell-lane, from Mrs. Butler's; she was walking very fast ; I saw no man 
about then. 

Thomas Broadhurst. — Before I came to Bell-lane I saw Mary Ashford 
crossing the turnpike road ; she was going from Erdington towards Penn's ; 
she had a bundle, and was going fast; when I got home our clock wanted 
twenty minutes to five; our clock was a quarter too fast. 

Geo-ge Jackson. — I live in Hurst-street, Birmingham; I was going be- 
yond Penn's Mills to work ; I came by the workhouse of Erdington ; I 
turned out of Bell lane into the footpath leading to Penn's ; going along I 

* By the report of others there was much COTitention for a considerable time in the 

path, between two and three in the morning. 


came to a pit ; I observed when I came near a bonnet, a pair of shoes, and a 
bundle, close by the top of the slope that goes into the pit; I saw one shoe 
was all blood ; then I went towards Penn's Mills to get assistance ; going 
down from the pit, about thirty yards it might be from it, I observed blood, a 
triangle, zig-zag, for about two yards; I went a little further, and saw a 
lake of blood by the side of a bush ; I saw more to the left on some grass. 

JViUlam Lavell. — I went up to the pit in consequence of what I heard from 
Jackson ; footpath through the harrowed field ; went along it going from the 
pit towards Erdington; observed first the footsteps of a man to my right 
hand ; a dry pit at the corner of that field to the right; the footsteps were 
turning up to that corner; I went further up along the footpath towards 
Erdington; in about eight yards distance I discovered footsteps of a woman 
to my right ; I traced the footsteps of both from those two spots ; the)^ got 
together in about fifteen yards, bearing to the hedge ; they were both of them 
running by the sinking in of the ground and the stride ; traced the footsteps 
of both the man and woman running together to the corner where the dry 
pit was; there I observed them doubling backwards and Ibrwards, dodging 

I traced them on to the grass at the corner of the piece by the dry pit, at 
the right hand corner ; then the footsteps went towards a water pit in the 
harrowed field ; 1 traced them to that pit on the harrowed ground ; they 
appeared there to be walking; sometimes the woman's feet oflf, and some- 
times on ; in one place both off together, and on the grass ; traced them down 
to that water pit ; I could trace them no further, the woman's, but the man's 
I did to the hard road ; she was on the grass nearest the pit ; appeared 
walking on together. 

I then traced the footsteps of a man the contrary way from the footpath ; 
appeared running on the harrowed ground ; no other footsteps that way ; I 
traced them three-parts across the field towards the dry pit ; then they turned 
to the left as I was pursuing the track ; then I traced across the footpath and 
to the gate at the far corner ; cross the footpath in the middle of the field, 
footsteps of a man running quite to the cross corner ; no woman's steps ; I 
could trace them no further than to that gate; it was clover; the footsteps 
went alonar no regular road, but it would make a shorter cut. 

I went with Joseph Bird with the prisoner's shoes first; took both; they 
were right and left shoes; and the man's footsteps appeared to be made Avith 
right and left shoes ; we tried the shoes on the footsteps ; we tried them 
with a dozen footsteps, I suppose, in different parts; those shoes exactly 
fitted those footsteps on both sides the footway ; I have no doubt the foot- 
steps were made by those shoes ; we tried them with the footsteps that turned 
off the footpath, about eight yards from the woman's, and where they were 
running together, and where the doubling was ; in all those parts they agreed ; 
some nails were out of the side of one shoe ; we observed two nails ; footstep 
over a bit of a short stick, which threw the foot up ; saw mark of two nails ; 
we tried the shoe with that footstep ; two prints of the nails in the trace ; 
small nails in the shoe; we could hardly trace them. 

Went with Mary Ashford's shoe afterwards with Bird ; compared it with 
the woman's footsteps that turned off the path to the right ; and where they 
appeared running, and where the doubling was, and where walking ; the 
shoes agreed with the footsteps ; no doabt the footsteps were made by those 
shoes ; I saw one footstep, appeared to be the foot of a man near the slope ; 
near the edge ; none down the slope; it appeared to be the left foot side- 
ways; inclined towards the slope; I did not compare the shoe with that ; 
I saw the bundle by the side of the pit ; a pair of shoes and a bonnet ; those 
shoes I compared with the woman's footsteps ; where the blood was, was 
about forty j'ards off the pit; I saw some nearer, about fourteen yards nearer 
the pit ; I traced it for fourteen yards ; a train of blood ; across the path on 
the clover towards the pit where the body was found, no footsteps ; about a 


foot from the footpath ; the dew was on the clover then ; it came to drops at 
last ; when it first came to the clover a regular run. 

Upon his cross-examination, he said — I began to trace the steps about seven 
o'clock ; about one on the same day it might be, I compared steps with the 
man's shoes ; I covered with boards two tracks of the man's and one of the 
woman's before the rain; from the depth and strides only I considered them 
running or walking; one hundred and forty yards from the footpath to the 
dry pit ; near same length to the other ; blood forty yards off the pit was 
in the same close where the body was found ; one footstep close to the 
declivity ; I observed that footstep as soon as I got there first ; I did not 
observe marks of blood in the harrowed field ; no footsteps of any sort where 
I traced the blood fourteen yards ; a footpath by ; the track of blood crossed 
the path, but went in a straight line towards the pit. 

Joseph Bird. — I went to the pit ; found Lavell there ; I accompanied him 
into the harrowed field to trace the footsteps; took the prisoner's and 
deceased's shoes for comparing them with the footsteps ; footsteps of a man 
on the right going towards the dry pit; farther on from the footpath saw 
woman's steps to the right ; a few yards up they came in contact ; went 
towards the dry pit ; they appeared to me as if two persons had been dodging 
there; they appeared to me to be the footmarks of persons running; the 
length of the strides in one thing ; straight in the toe of the woman's, as if 
raised; the man's very deep,- the heels very deep, as the appearance of a 
heavy man running,* 

At the corner they went down the hedge side towards the pit at the bottom 
of the harrowed field; there they seemed to be walking; the strides were 
shorter, the impressions not so deep ; I saw them down to the pit ; the wo- 
man was sometimes on the grass, sometimes on the ploughed field. 

Afterwards traced the footsteps of a man up the field ; when near the dry 
pit went straight across the footpath to the further corner gate, footsteps of 
a man only running ; I compared the prisoner's shoes with these last foot- 
steps, they exactly corresponded ; both sides the fuotpath, and compared 
them with those of the man where he turned out before he joined the woman, 
and after he had joined her ; they all corresponded ; I compared them first 
with the right footstep ; right and left shoes ; I kneeled down to blow the 
dirt out, and see if any nail marks ; I observed two ; across the foot near the 
small, a bit of rotten wood had the outside of the right side a little up ; the 
impression of that side not so deep as the other ; I observed two nail marks 
on that side ; nailed round the toe ; then a space ; then nailed again on the 
outside ; the two first nearest the toe after passing the space ; I marked the 
first nail mark ; kneeled down ; it exactly corresponded with the shoe ; I saw 
at the same time the second corresponded ; it may be half an inch between. 
I compared the woman's shoes, they exactly corresponded, — in different 
places ; corresponded in every instance exactly, where the running was ; lea- 
ther of the shoe was rather raised in places by being wet ; they corresponded ; 
the shoes were not exactly there alike ; the impressions varied accordingly ; 
I applied the shoes to the impressions both to the man and the woman ; I have 
no doubt the impressions were made by those shoes ; we made these exami- 
nations on the 27th ; the man's about one o'clock, the woman's about ten or 
eleven the same day. 

Joseph Webster. — I live at Penn's ; the mills belong to me; saw the body 
when just brought to the edge of the water; I observed a considerable quan- 
tity of blood forty yards off the pit ; a round space of blood as much as I could 
cover with my extended hand; the impression of a human figure on the grass 
on that spot ; the arms and legs appeared to have been extended quite out ; 
a very small quantity of blood was about the centre of the human figure, and 
the other at the feet ; I observed what I considered to be the mark of 

* Thornton was a stout atliletic man. 


knees, toes, and large shoes ; I judge them to be marks made by the same 
person ; the lake of blood was much coagulated ; that was the part at the 
feet; I traced the blood for ten yards from that spot towards the pit.* By 
the stile farther from the pit, in a continuance of the footpath, an impression 
as if one person had sat down on the other side of the stile, just in the next 
field, the other way from the harrowed field ; 1 returned in about an hour. 

In the harrowed field I perceived the traces of a man and woman's foot ; 
Bird showed them me ; I sent for the woman's shoes, and compared them 
with the marks ; they perfectly corresponded ; not a doubt they were 
made by those shoes; they were stained with blood outside the shoe, but 
inside the foot; afterwards I went to Lavell's to examine the body; the 
spencer was taken oflf, and there was on each arm what appeared to me the 
grasp of a man's hand ; I went to Mrs. Butler's on the morning of the 27th 
to examine her (Mrs. Butler's) clock; I compared it with my watch ; hers 
was forty-one minutes faster than mine ; I saw the clothes on the body when 
taken out of the water ; the hind part, the seat of the gown, in a very dirty 
state ; blood was on the gown. 

Fanny Luvell. — Body of the deceased was brought to my house ; I un- 
dressed her ; no blood on the black stockings ; only one thin petticoat — 
dimity ; no flannel on, so that the blood on it would easily communicate to 
the rest of the dress. 

Thomas Dale. — This was the bundle of things delivered to me ; spencer 
appears quite clean ; a good deal of blood about this gown ; stockings bloody 
almost all the way ;-j- she had no cloth on, or preparation for the state she 
was in. 

Mary Smith. — I assisted in examining the body, about half-past ten that 
morning ; the body was not cold ; marks of fingers appeared on each arm. I 
examined the lower parts of her body, they were in a very bloody state ; 
whether it was a monthly evacuation or blood from violence, I cannot tell ; 
she had no cloth on. 

The examination before Mr. Bedford the magistrate was then read. 

At Tyburn, in the parish of Aston, iii the county of Warwick, the 21th of 
May, 1817. 

The voluntary examination of Abraham Thornton, of Castle Bromwich, — 
that he is a bricklayer ; that he came to the Three Tuns at Tyburn, about six 
o'clock last night, where there was a dance ; that he danced a dance or two 
with the landlord's daughter, but whetlier he danced with Mary Ashford or 
not he cannot recollect. Stayed till about twelve o'clock : and then went 
with Mary Ashford, Benjamin Carter, and a young woman ; that they 
walked together as far as Potter's ; Carter and the housekeeper went on 
towards Erdington. He and Mary Ashford went on as far as Freeman's; 
they then turned to the right, and went along a lane till they came to a gate 
and stile, on the right hand side of the road ; they then went over the stile, 
and into the next piece, along the foot-road ; they continued along the foot- 
road four or five fields, but cannot exactly tell how many. He and Mary 
Ashford then returned the same road ; when they came to the gate and stile 
they first got over, they stood there ten minutes or a quarter of an hour, talking ; 
itmight be then about three o'clock ; whilst they stood there a man came by. 
He and Mary Ashford stayed at the stile a quarter of an hour afterwards ; 
they then went straight up to Freeman's again, crossed the road, and went on 
towards Erdington, till he came to a grass field on the right hand side the 

* It was the impression on the spot that the girl fainted during the violation, and that 
the violator, alarmed for his safety, and unwilling lo run away or ex|)ose her and himself 
in that state, carried her in his arms and ihrew her into the pond. The traces of blood 
without his footsteps were adduced as proof 

t Hence it appears that the dancing had accelerated the menses, and in this state she 
was not likely to yield to the wishes other violator, whose passions were nevertheless so 
far excited that he alterwards waylaid her. 


road, within about one hundred yards of Greensall's ; Mary Ashford walked 
on, and he never saw her after; she was nearly opposite to Greensall's. 
Whilst he was in the field, he saw a man cross the road for James's, but he 
did not know who he was ; he then went on for Erdington workhouse to see 
if he could find Mary Ashford ; he stopped upon the green five minutes to 
wait for her ; it was four o'clock, or ten minutes after four o'clock. He went 
by Shipley's on his road home ; and afterwards by Holden's, where he saw 
a man and woman with some milk cans, and a young man driving some 
cows out of a field. He then went towards Twamley's mill, where he 
saw Mr. Rotton's keeper taking rubbish out of the nets at the flood-gates ; 
he asked the man what o'clock it was 1 he answered, near five o'clock, or 
five ; Twamley's mill is about a mile and a quarter from his father's house, 
with whom he lives. The first person he saw was Edward Leake, a servant 
of his father's, and a boy ; that his mother was up. He took off a black coat 
he had on, and put on the one he now wears, which hung up in tlie kitchen, 
and changed his hat, and left them both in the house ; he did not change his 
shoes or stockings, though his shoes were rather wet, from having walked 
across the meadows. That he knew Mary Ashford when she lived at the 
Swan, atErdington, but not particularly intimate with her; that he had not seen 
Mary Ashford for a considerable time before he met her at Tyburn. He had 
been drinking the whole evening, but not so much as to be intoxicated. 

Thomas Dale. — Assistant constable of Birmingham ; after the examination 
was taken by the magistrate, I went up-stairs with the prisoner to examine 
his person ; he unbuttoned his breeches ; shirt, and flap of his breeches, both 
bloody; he owned he had had connexion with the girl by her consent, but he 
knew nothing about the murder. 

Joseph Cooke. — Was at the dance at Tyburn, saw the prisoner there ; saw 
the deceased there. He (the prisoner) asked Cotterell who she was] He 
(Cotterell) said Ashford's daughter. He (the prisoner) said he knew her 
sister very well ; he said he had had connexion with her sister, and he 
would with her or die by it. 

Daniel Clarke. — I keep the Tyburn-house (where the dance was) ; next 
morning I went to Castle Bromwich ; I found the prisoner on the turnpike 
road on a poney. I asked him what became of the young woman who went 
with him from my house last night ] He made no answer, and I told him 
she was murdered, and thrown into a pit. Prisoner said murdered ! I said, 
yes, murdered. Prisoner said immediately, I was with her till four o'clock 
this morning. I asked him to come along with me to clear himself; he went 
with me to my house, better than a mile ; he said he could soon clear him- 
self; he said nothing more about this ; we were talking about farming, and 
the like. He went into the room, and had something to eat and drink ; he 
might remain there half an hour. I did not offer to discourse about it after- 
wards, and yet I was very much shocked. I did not know that the prisoner 
had been with her till four in the morning till he told me. I thought he 
appeared a little confused when I first put the question to him. 

George Freer, Surgeon. — I examined the body ; between the thighs, and 
the lower part of the legs, was a great deal of blood ; the parts of generation 
were lacerated, and a quantity of coagulated blood was about those parts ; I 
proceeded to open the body, and found the parts of generation lacerated ; 
some coagulated blood about them ; and she had the menses upon her. 1 
then opened the stomach, and found in it a portion of duck-weed, and about 
half pint of a thin fluid, apparently chiefly water. In my judgment she died 
from drowning. Two lacerations, quite fresh ; I was perfectly convinced, 
till those lacerations, she was a virgin ; some coagulated blood adhered to 
them. I saw the coagulated blood on the ground ; the menses do not pro- 
duce such blood as that ; that coagulated blood proceeded from the lacerations ; 
the lacerations were from the sexual intercourse. There were no lacerations 
but what might, or might not, arise from sexual intercourse with a virgin, 



with consent and without violence. It is very evident that the menses came 
on at an unexpected moment by her ; it may increase a little for a day or 
two; may be less at first, and increase in an hour or two; it might become 
extremely copious and troublesome. Dancing was likely to increase it. A 
robust, fine young person. An unusual quantity of blood independently of 
the menses. 

Evidence on the part of the prisoner. 

William Jennings. — I am a milkman ; live in Birmingham; I get my milk 
from Holden's; I and my wife were at his house on Tuesday morning, 27th 
May, in Erdington. I did not know Thornton before I saw him coming 
down the lane leading from Erdington, going towards Holden's, as if from 
Erdington-way ; this was about half-pa&t four, as near as 1 could judge, 
having no watch ; we had milked nearly a cow, after I had seen him, and 
before I asked Jane Eaton what o'clock it was ; it might be ten minutes; he 
was walking leisurely; no appearance of warmth or heat about him.* 

Martha Jentiings. — I was with my husband by Holden's. I saw the pri- 
soner pass ; I did not know him before; he was coming gently along, about 
half-past four. Afterwards 1 inquired of Jane Eaton the time in the morning. 
We waited till Holden brought the cows into their yard, and milked a cow ; 
a quarter of an hour, I think, might pass. 

Jane Eaton. — I lived at Holden's, Tuesday, 2Tth May ; I got up about half- 
past four ; I could see from the window of my room up the lane towards 
Erdington, but not far; I saw a man in the lane walking towards Castle 
Bromwich from Erdington, walking quite slow ; some time after that, about 
a quarter of an hour, Jennings and his wife came to ask me what o'clock ; 
I looked at my master's clock, it wanted ten minutes of five by it; it was not 
altered for some days after that. 

John Holden. — I live with my father; my mother was ill in bed on the 27th 
May ; remember Jennings and his wife being there on that day ; know the 
prisoner ; had been down for the cows ; in returning, met the prisoner about 
two hundred yards from the house, after he had passed it. 

John Ilaydcn. — Gamekeeper to Mr. Rotton, of Castle Bromwich ; I went 
from my own house ten minutes before five on the 27lh May ; I heard 
Rotton's stable clock strike five ; in about five minutes I saw the prisoner ; 
he was coming towards Twamley's mill ; he was coming as from Erdington, 
towards Castle Bromwich; I knew him; I asked him where he had been; 
he said he had been to take a wench home ; he stayed with me ten minutes 
or a quarter of an hour. 

Jaynes White. — I saw the prisoner at Castle Bromwich, at Wheelwright's 
bank ; better than half a mile from Zachary Twamley's mill ; and from there 
to his (the prisoner's) father's house was better than half a mile ; twenty 
minutes past five by the chapel clock. 

The learned judge, says Mr. Holroyd, then proceeded to sum up. — His 
lordship's observations (together with a very full recapitulation of the whole 
of the evidence), besides reminding the jury of the importance of the duty 
of wholly dismissing from their minds every thing they had heard upon the 
subject previous to the trial, and every prejudice that their minds might have 
thereby conceived against the prisoner, and of considering the case only upon 
the evidence which had been laid before them, were such as to point the 
attention of the jury, particularly to (amongst other things) the fact that 
Thornton had parted from Mary Ashford previous to her return to Mrs. 
Butler's, that there was no direct proof that he ever rejoined her, nor any 
proof whatever that he did so, unless so far as it could be collected from the 
other circumstances of the case ; — to the materiality of the question, at what 

* The reports on the spot described him as bursting through the hedge, and soaked with 
dew from the grass and leaves, and that his irruption was so sudden that he frightened 
one of the cows. 


time did the connexion take place ■? whether in the night time before, or in 
the day light after her return to Mrs. Butler's ; and with reference to that 
point, to the consideration not only of the suspicious circumstances against 
the prisoner, but also of the condition of the dancing dress, more especially 
the white silk stockings of the deceased, which she had put off at Mrs. 
Butler's, contrasted with the state of her black stockings, which she there 
put on, and in which she was when drowned, — to the evidence of the 
surgeon ; — to the circumstances of the case as the jury should consider them 
to have been established in proof against the prisoner, independently of the 
proof of the alibi, and again with reference to that proof of the alibi, — and to 
the impression which it should have made on their minds as to the truth or 
falsehood of the facts sworn to by the witnesses brought to prove alibi, or as 
to those witnesses misrepresenting, or being mistaken, or not, in the day, or 
time, to which they respectively spoke. 

The jury, after a short consultation, returned a verdict of i\"b/ Guilty. 

Mr. Holroyd, the judge's son, introduces observations to render it probable 
that the girl was drowned by accident ! His words are these : — 

"It is impossible, however, that she did so upon reflecting on the conse- 
quence of what had passed. If this were so, however much the event were 
to be deplored, still the acquittal of Thornton of the murder was right, though 
he would in such case remained exposed to the vengeance of an offended 
God. But although her probable self-destruction cannot be urged as a 
ground for the acquittal of Thornton, yet another conjecture as to the cause of 
her death is worthy of consideration, arising from the placing of the bundle on 
the pit bank, close to the footpath side, in her way home to her uncle's, and 
from the taking off of her shoes. In the bundle were her half boots, the only 
part of her daily dress she had not resumed. One of her dancing shoes, with 
which she was returning home, upon her feet, being all blood, and the other 
bloody, who can say whether, startled with observing as she walked, that 
blood upon it which would be visible to persons meeting her on the road, and 
to her uncle on her return home, she might not have put down her bundle, and 
taken off her shoes and bonnet, in order to take out and put on her half boots 
instead of her bloody shoes ? And what is more probable than that she 
should do eo 1 If that was the fact, when the exhaustion and fatigue she 
had just gone through in her walk (twelve or thirteen miles) to Birmingham 
and back the day before, her dancing at night, her want of sleep and rest 
afterwards, the circumstances attending the connexion that had taken place 
between her and Thornton, her loss of blood, and want of nourishment, for 
none was on her stomach when her body was opened, what is more probable 
then that in sleeping or turning to take out her half boots, in order to put them 
on, on the top of a bank of a very sloping pit side, when the surface of the 
water was so much as four yards below the pit bank, she should by an inad- 
vertent step backward, or otherwise, slip in, or should turn faint and giddy 
and so tumble in." 

The evidence is followed by other pleadings in defence of the prisoner, and 
various imputations are made against a virtuous girl, who had the highest 
character from all who knew her. Mr. Holroyd concludes that as she had 
the menses before her return to Cox, she had been violated previously, though 
the race in the field, and the traces of blood, proved directly the contrary ; for 
the traces of blood from the place of violation to the pit could have arisen only 
while she was carried from one place to the other, and if she had tumbled 
thus into the pit, or been violated on that spot before her return to Cox, the 
blood would not have been traceable from the spot to the pit ; where even a 
mark of Thornton's footstep was discovered ! That Thornton was the violator 
too is evident from his own admission, from his wicked previous threat, and 
from his bloody linen. No hypothesis of his innocency is therefore tenable, 
except some other person violated the girl in the clover field after Thorn- 
ton, a supposition never insisted on. At the same time, a judge cannot be too 



much commended who hesitates to admit circumstantial evidence; but in this 
case the circumstances corroborated one anollier tliroughout; and it would 
have been more candid to admit an error on the side of humanity to an accused 
party, than to persist in a justification, and in the crimination of the suifering 
parties. We think that justice was baffled in every stage of the proceedings ; 
but, at the same time, we are far from being disposed to quarrel with an exer- 
tion in favour of mercy in quarters where it is a rare virtue, especially as we 
are fully jiersuaded that the best intentions always actuate the judge who 
tries the cause. 

According to the ancient law, the brother of Mary Ashford appealed Thorn- 
ton for the murder of his sister, with a view to bring him to a second trial. 
On this appeal Thornton was again taken into custody, and removed to Lon- 
don, that he might personally appear in the King's Bench to answer the 
process at the suit of Ashford's brother. But it appeared that by the same 
ancient law Thornton was competent to re])el the apjjeal by a wager cf battle ; 
and, in consequence, to the astonishment of the civilized world, Thornton 
threw down his glove as a challenge to the appellant. The case was 
solemnly argued for several days by the counsel of the parties before the 
judges, who decided that the right of defence by this mode was coeval with 
that of prosecution by appeal. As therefore young Ashford was a stripling, 
and Thornton an athletic man, he declined the combat, and the appeal, in 
consequence, not being allowed to be sustained, no second trial could be had. 
The attorney-general afterwards brought in a bill to repeal the process by 
appeal, in order to remove from our jurisprudence the scandal of such a de- 
fence as that which was adopted in this case. 



This trial commenced on Monday, the Uth of November. At a quarter 
past ten o'clock, Castaing, the prisoner, was brought into court. He was a 
young man of a fair complexion, and an interesting figure, with a mild and 
gentle voice, and of peculiarly calm and decorous manners. The bar, upon 
which the articles necessary to the conviction of the prisoner are placed, did 
not, upon this occasion, present any blood-stained garments, or any spoils 
taken from the person of the murdered victim : but a range of decanters, 
bottles, and phials, containing either the j)oisons found in the house of the 
accused, or the analyzed results of them ; together with two chests tied and 
sealed up, in which were contained other substances designed as tests for 

The indictment charged him with three crimes : — 1st, with having adminis- 
tered poison to his young friend, Hippolyte Ballet, about the end of October, 
1822; 2dly, with having, in conjunction with the surviving brother, Augusts 
Ballet, destroyed the will of the deceased, to convert his property to their 
joint use; and 3dly, with having, in the end of May, 1823, made his accom- 
plice his victim, after he had secured the spoil, by having induced Auguste 
to bequeath it to him by testamentary instruments. The poison said to be 
employed in both cases was of a vegetable kind, called acetate of morphine ; 
and it was alleged to have been administered, in the last case, in a tavern in 
St. Cloud, where Ballet and Castaing had gone to pass a few days as bosom 

Castaing was then examined by the president, and in answer to questions 
put to him, asserted, that he had never written a single prescription for M. 


Hippolyte Ballet during his illness; that he had never prevented any of his 
relations from coming to see him ; but that, on the contrary, he had given 
Madame Martignon an opportunity of seeing her brother, contrary to his 
express wish and desire. He admitted that he was well acquainted with the 
effects of vegetable poisons, and that he had bought a considerable quantity 
of the acetate de morphine about the time of M. Hippolyte's death ; and in 
opposition to his first declarations, attributed the rapidity of that gentleman's 
death to the bad state of his lungs. He denied that Hippolyte had ever 
made a will, but admitted that he had drawn up the projd of one upon a 
loose piece of paper, in which he left the greater part of his property to his 
uterine sister, and little or nothing to his brother ; and that, in consequence 
of a conversation which passed between himself and Hippolyte, that projet 
was destroyed, and Hippolyte became reconciled to his brother about a month 
before his death. He denied that he had ever paid, or said that he had paid, 
100,000 francs to Lebret to obtain from him the duplicate of the will placed 
in his hands ; and asserted that Mademoiselle Percillie, in saying that he had 
made such a declaration, was influenced by the hatred which she felt against 
him for his endeavours to wean Auguste from her society. He allowed, that 
he went on the 8th of October, with Auguste and Prignon, to the bank of 
France, but protested that Auguste had never shown to him any notes, or 
bundles of notes, which he had then received. He acknowledged, that he 
had been frequently dunned for a debt of GOO francs ; but the reason of that 
was, that he had accepted it for a friend, and that he thought it hard that he 
should be compelled to pay it. He admitted, that he had received a gift of 
100,000 francs from M. Ballet ; but that was partly in payment of a perpetual 
rent-charge of 4500 francs, which M. Hippolyte had left him by will. 

On the morning of the 31st of May, he proposed a walk to Auguste; but 
Auguste said, "No, we walked enough yesterday; my feet are very much 
swollen, and I shall not be able to put on my boots." Finding that to be the 
case, he got up himself at four o'clock in the morning, and walked to Paris, 
for the purpose of procuring poison to destroy the animals which had 
disturbed them during the night, and to use in experiments. 

Being asked why he purchased the poison of two different druggists, he 
replied that his original intention had been to go to his own house for it, but 
that he had altered his mind in consequence of recollecting that his brother, 
whom he had not seen for seven years, was there, and would prevent him 
from returning to Auguste at St. Cloud. On that account he purchased the 
acetate de morphine of M. Chevalier. At first he did not think that he should 
want the emetic, but afterwards, recollecting that it might be necessary, he 
purchased it of a druggist, whose shop was in his road to St. Cloud. He 
reached St. Cloud between seven and eight o'clock in the morning; and on 
his arrival there, asked, by desire of Auguste, for a jug of new milk, warm 
from the cow. On getting it, Auguste poured out the milk, and drank it; as 
also he did. Auguste, within three-quarters of an hour after drinking the 
milk, was seized with violent vomitings, and frequent evacuations of bile and 
black substances ; by the prisoner's order, a servant took away the pot into 
which these evacuations had been made. The prisoner next admitted, that 
he then left the room ; and being asked why he did so, he said it was to 
fling into the privy the acetate de morphine and the emetic, which he had 
purchased at Paris, and which he had mixed together in a phial. About 
eleven o'clock, the doctor, Pigache, first arrived, and prescribed a cooling 
draught for the patient, who only took it twice. About one o'clock the doctor 
came again, and prescribed a different draught, which was made up at a 
druggist's at Boulogne. Castaing admitted, that he gave Auguste several 
spoonsful of this draught. Being told that a witness, who had seen him 
administer a spoonful of this draught, declared that, within five minutes 
afterwards, the most alarming symptoms appeared in Auguste, accompanied 
by strong convulsions, he replied, that those symptoms did not appear till 



nine o'clock, when Auguste had taken several spoonsful, and that Auguste 
did not lose his knowledge of what was passing around him till ten o'clock, 
a point on which the president informed him he was directly contradicted by 
other witnesses. 

The prisoner further stated, that, at eleven o'clock, M. Pigache bled 
Auguste, and ordered him to apply leeches ; that he accordingly did so; that 
M. Pigache advised a second bleeding, but expressed his fear least the 
patient should expire in the midst of it ; that he did not object to it, but only 
said that it was a matter of great delicacy. Being asked his opinion as to the 
causes of the rapid progress of Auguste's disease, he replied that he was 
ignorant of them ; that, as to the nature of the disease, it appeared to him at 
first to be cholera morbus ,- and afterwards to be a congestion on the brain, 
occasioned by an inilammation of the intestines. He acknowledged writing a 
letter to Malassis, informing him that he sent him two keys, and recommending 
him not to say that he had received then from him (Castaing), and to conceal 
their relationship with each other. Being asked why he had denied the 
writing of such a letter on a former examination, he answered, that he had 
done so to conceal a circumstance which might appear to cast suspicion upon 
his conduct. He denied all knowledge of the kej's which he had sent to 
Malassis, and of the contents of the boxes, the locks of which they opened. 

]\I. INIartignon, the brother-in-law of Hippolyte and Auguste Ballet, said, 
that in consequence of the improvement which appeared visible in Hijipo- 
lyte's health at the conclusion of the month of September, 16-3-2, he was con- 
siderably surprised at hearing, on Thursday, the 1st of October, of his being 
in the very agonies of death. After recounting the excuses to which Cas- 
taing resorted to prevent his wife from having access to her brother during 
this illness, he informed the court, that on the evening of Hippolyte's death, 
he had, with the consent of Castaing, called in another physician, M. Sega- 
las ; that, after Hippolyte's death, that physician advised that his body should 
be opened, not from any suspicion of his having been poisoned, but under 
the idea that the complaint of which he died was a family complaint, and 
that the knowledge so acquired of its nature might be of use to his surviving 
relatives ; that he informed Auguste Ballet and Castaing of this proposal ; 
that they agreed to it; that the body was subsequently opened by Castaing 
and M. Segalas ; and that the appearance of the head and stomach were 
precisely similar to those afterwards observed in the head and stomach of 
Auguste. He also stated, that when Hippolyte's desk and drawers were 
opened, not a paper of any description was found in them, though it was 
known that he kept receipts of all his expenditure — nor any money, though 
Hippolyte had told him, only the day before his illness, that he had 6000 
francs by him to pay his carpet-maker's bill. He affirmed that he knew no- 
thing of any will being in existence. 

M. Marlignon then declared, that, on the day of Auguste's death, being 
informed that Auguste lay dangerously ill at St. Cloud, he immediately set 
off for that place, but did not arrive there until after Auguste's death. The 
physicians, Segalas and Pelletan, there informed him, that the circumstances 
of his brother-in-law's death were so extraordinary, that they required judi- 
cial investigation ; and, in consequence, he consented that they should jointly 
draw up ?l proces verbal. Whilst this was doing, Castaing came into the 
room, and being informed of their proceedings, expressed his warm appro- 
bation of them, stating, at the same time, that it was his opinion that Auguste 
had died of a congestion on the brain, occasioned by some pecuniary losses, 
and also by his grief for having deserted Mademoiselle Percillie, of whom 
he was strongly enamoured. On retiring with Castaing, he asked him 
whether his brother-in-law had said any thing to him regarding the disposi- 
tion of his property. Castaing replied, that he had given him two keys to 
send to a man called Malassis. He desired Castaing not to send them to 
that person without giving him previous information, and Castaing said that 


he would not. He then described the proceedings which took place at St. 
Cloud, before the Jugt de paix, from their first institution, down to the time 
that Castaing was taken into custody. When he first saw Castaing after 
that event, Castaing told him that he had no knowledge of Auguste's having 
left any will ; but that afterwards, when the body had been dissected, and 
when the Frocureiir du Boi, at his request, had asked Castaing for Auguste's 
keys, Castaing said, in giving them up, " If it is to look for the will you 
want them, it is unnecessary, for that is in the hands of M. Malassis." In 
consequence, he waited upon M. Malassis, who confirmed what Castaing had 
said, and promised to deposit the will in the hands of the proper authorities. 
Malassis deposited it in the hands of M. Sene, from whom he (Martignon) 
first learned that Auguste had appointed Castaing his universal legatee. 

M. Lherminier and M. Segalas, two medical gentlemen, agreed in saying, 
that in 1821, Hippolyte appeared to them to be in the second stage of a pul- 
monary tuberculous consumption, under which he might have lingered for a 
considerable time. On the 2d of October, that disease appeared to be in- 
creased by an inflammation in the chest. On opening his body after death, 
that was actually found to be the case. The same appearances would have 
been found, had Hippolyte died of any vegetable poison. They agreed that 
certain vegetable poisons, even when administered in sufficient quantities to 
produce death, might not leave any traces behind them, either in the stomach 
or in any other part of the body. M. Segalas, who had been a member of a 
commission which had unanimously declared that eight grains of the acetate 
de morphine would produce death, though no trial of it had been made on the 
human frame, added, that, after many experiments which he had since made, 
he had discovered that fourteen grains of that substance, when given to ani- 
mals, had not killed them. 

Dr. Michel, the usual medical attendant on Hippolyte Ballet, was called 
in by that gentleman on the 10th of April, 1822, and found him labouring 
under a tuberculous consumption. That complaint was, however, making 
such slow progress, that Hippolyte might have lived for many years. He 
was greatly surprised on hearing, within four months afterwards, that Hip- 
polyte was dead. Being told to notice the appearances which were observed 
on the opening of Hippolyte's body, and to give his opinion upon them as 
to the cause of Hippolyte's death, he deposed that the congestion on the 
brain might have arisen from natural causes, but that some of the alterations 
observed in his system might have resulted from his having imbibed a nar- 
cotic poison like the acetate de morphine. These effects, however, sometimes 
depended on the particular organization of individuals. 

M. Billoin, a druggist, deposed, that in January, 1823, the prisoner had 
purchased of him at several different times a considerable quantity of the 
acetate de morphine. He told the witness that he wanted it for experiments 
on animals. 

M. Caylas, another druggist, deposed that the prisoner had upon two occa- 
sions purchased of him acetate de morphine. The first time was in May, 1823, 
and the second on the 18th of September, in the same year; he then asked for 
ten grains. The witness, before he left the court, remarked, that the indict- 
ment stated that the prisoner had taken steps to obtain from several druggists 
declarations in his favour ; now he begged leave to say, that nobody had 
made application to him on behalf of the prisoner. 

Mademoiselle Percillie was the next witness called. She described her- 
self as an actress (artiste dramatique) residing in Rue d'Amboise, and stated 
herself to be 27 years of age. She declared that, to her knowledge, Castaing 
had caused the destruction of a will before the death of Hippolyte Ballet, or, 
at least, after his death. She learned from Auguste, that Castaing had 
induced him to destroy the will of his brother, which had been made in favour 
of his brother-in-law, Martignon and his wife, and which had been deposited 
in the hands of Lebret. To effect the destruction of this will, he advised 


Aug-uste to sacrifice 100,000 francs, informing him tliat his hrother-in-law 
had offered 80,000 francs to have it made valid. On the 8th of October, they 
went to the hank together. Auguste then told her, that he was surprised at 
the conduct of Castaing, for Castaing had informed liim that Lebret would 
not settle the business of the will with any other person but himself. She 
herself thought this conduct very strange, and advised Auguste to place no 
confidence in Castaing. She had heard Castaing admit the existence of a 
Avill, on five or six different occasions, at her own house ; and on the day that 
Auguste and he went to the bank, Auguste showed her a red seal, and said 
that it was the seal of his brother's will, and that he had paid 100,000 francs 
for it. 

M. Orfila, professor of toxicology in the faculty of medicine, read over the 
proces verbal of the dissection of the body of Auguste Ballet. He then deposed, 
that from inspection of that paper, he could not declare whether the death 
of Auguste had been produced by natural causes or vegetable poisons. In 
answer to repeated questions by the president, he replied, " It is impossible 
for me, under all these circumstances, to say, whether there has or has 
not been an attempt to poison. The corpus delicti is wanting, because the 
matter vomited by Auguste is not forthcoming. If that matter had been sub- 
mitted to me, as well as the liquid contained in the stomach, I could have 
given in evidence the most satisfactory of proofs. I am certain that by means 
of an exact analysis, I could easily discover, in a pint of liquid, a single half 
grain of the "acetate de morphine.'''' The witness then proceeded to explain the 
measures by which he was enabled to arrive at such a fact, " Two or three 
years ago," he said, " it was a common error to suppose, that certain vege- 
table poisons left no tiace exclusive of any other symptom of disease — that 
was even an axiom of legal medicine. At present, chemistry has made great 
progress, and it is almost as easy to discover the vestiges of vegetable as of 
mineral poisons." 

M. Vanquelin, a celebrated chemist, spoke almost to the same effect. He 
had analyzed the remainder of the cooling draught prescribed by M. Pigache, 
ajid had not found in it any poisonous substance. 

The medical men, who had dissected the body at St. Cloud, were then ex- 
amined, and gave similar testimony to that which they had given in the 
proces verhal. 

The case on the part of the prosecution here closed (Nov. 14). 

The first witness called on the part-of the defence was M. Chaussieur, a 
physician of 80 years of age. He stated that he had known several instances 
of death under circumstances as extraordinary as those of Auguste Ballet, in 
which not the slightest ground for supposing the deceased were poisoned was 
detected on opening their bodies. The witness then stated, that if the red 
spots observed in the stomach of Auguste had been produced by poison, they 
would have been spread over it generally ; instead of which they were merely 

M. Barruel and M. Magendie, two members of the Institute, deposed to the 
same effect as the last witness. 

On the 17th, at half-past eleven at night, the jury acquitted Castaing of the 
charge of poisoning Hippolyte Ballet, but found him guilty of destroying the 
will, and also of poisoning Auguste Ballet, by a simple majority of seven 
against five. 

At midnight he was sentenced to death, and to 100,000 francs damages, and 
costs towards the civil party in the proceedings. 

He died protesting his innocence. 





The indictment (charging the poisoning to be by arsenic) was found by the 
grand inquest a " true bill." The prisoner upon his arraignment pleaded 
not guilty; whereupon a petit jury were sworn and charged.with the pri- 


Mr. Howorth, 
Mr. Wheeler, 
■ . Mr. Balguy, 

. . Mr. Geast, 

Mr. Digby. 


Mr. Caldicot. 

The indictment was shortly opened by Mr. Digby. 

Mr. Howorth: — Gentlemen of the jury, the crime imputed to the prisoner 
at the bar is that of wilful murder, effected by means the most detested and. 
abhorred. Such an accusation naturally excites the indignation of honest minds 
against the criminal. I shall not endeavour to increase it; it is your duty to 
resist it, for the nature of the present inquiry calls for your sober and dis- 
passionate attention. The offence is easy of perpetration, but difficult of 
detection. The murderer by poison is not pointed out to justice by the bloody 
marks of his guilt, or the fatal instrument of his crime ; his horrid purpose 
is planned in secret, is executed without his presence ; his guilt can only be 
traced by circumstances ; but circumstances sometimes do, and in this case, 
1 trust, will as plainly reveal the guilty hand as if a hundred witnesses 
testified the actual commission of the crime. 

It is my duty to state to you those circumstances, and I shall add to them 
such observations as in my judgment the nature of the case fairly affords, 
which I shall do the more readily, as I address you subject to the correction 
of a discerning judge, who will permit nothing to be placed in the scale of 
justice but what ought to be there weighed. 

Sir Theodosius Boughton was a young man of an ancient and respectable 
family in this county ; had he attained to the age of twenty-one, he would 
have had in his own power, and at his own disposal, the whole of an opulent 
fortune : in the event of his dying before that time, by much the greatest 
part of that fortune descended to his sister, who was the wife of the prisoner. 
Mr. Donellan, and he in her right, would have been entitled to a life-estate 
in this considerable fortune, the attaining of which, beyond a doubt, induced 
the prisoner to plan and execute the abominable crime for which he now 
stands charged. But in as much as the taking of a young man at his time 
of life, possessed of a good constitution, affected by no indisposition that 
could at all endanger his life, must necessarily be attended with suspicion, 
it was found convenient to prepare the minds of those who were his neigh- 
bours, of those who were connected with him, for that event which the pri- 
soner had already determined on. You will learn therefore from the witnesses, 
that for a short time betbre the death of sir Theodosius, the prisoner had 
taken many opportunities of expressing the very bad state of health he la- 
boured under, of expressing his opinion that it was impossible for him to 
live, and that his life was not worth one year's purchase. These represen- 
tations, you will find, were grossly false ; and the only reason for his making 
use of them was, what I have before suggested, in order to prepare the minds 



-Mr. Nevi'nham, 

xMr. Green, » ^ 

Mr. Dayrell. ^ ' 


Mr. Inge. 


of people for that event which he knew shortly was to take place. Sir 
Theodosius, intending to pay a visit to a young gentleman of the name of 
Fonnereau, a friend of his, living in Northamptonshire, and proposing to stay 
with him till he came of age, called for the immediate execution of the pri- 
soner's plan ; and sir Theodosius being attended by a IMr. Powell, an apothe- 
cary, who visited him for a slight venereal disorder he had contracted, and 
who, in the course of that cure, was giving him some cooling medicines, 
furnished an opportunity for its completion. You will learn that on Tuesday 
evening, the 29th of August, Mr. Powell made up a draught, and sent it by a 
servant of sir Theodosius Boughton, for the purpose of its being taken on the 
next morning, the Wednesday. It was perfectly well known to the prisoner 
that sir Theodosius was to take physic on that day : you will learn from Mr. 
Powell, that the physic was in itself as harmless a draught as could be ad- 
ministered. The medicine was brought to Lawford Hall early in the evening 
of Tuesday, the 29th. About five o'clock that evening, sir Theodosius, taking 
with him most of the men servants, went to the river for the purpose of 
taking the diversion of fishing. Lady Boughton and Mrs. Donellan were 
walking for some hours in the garden ; where the prisoner was during that 
time I believe cannot be explained to you, but he joined them in the garden 
about seven o'clock in the evening; and in the course of his conversation, 
told them that he had been with sir Theodosius a-fishing; that he was 
solicitous for his return home ; and that he was apprehensive, by his staying 
so late by the river, he would take cold. You will find that this account was 
not true; he had not been with sir Theodosius any part of that evening 
a-fishing. What motive or what inducement could he have to tell them this 
falsehood, you will decide upon, if you are able : it seems, however, neces- 
sary, in the mind and apprehension of the prisoner, that he should account 
for his absence that evening, though he does so at the expense of truth. 
When sir Theodosius returned in the afternoon from fishing, he was then in 
perfect health and good spirits ; he gave some direction concerning family 
matters, ate his supper, and went to bed apparently in good health. In the 
morning, it will be proved to you by a servant, who called him at an early 
hour, that he appeared in perfect good health, that he leaped out of bed 
for the purpose of getting something out of his closet which the servant 
wanted, and that in his apprehension he had never seen him better. About 
seven o'clock in the morning lady Boughton got up ; she went into the room 
of sir Theodosius; and as he had before desired her to give him his medicine 
when she was able to do it, she went for the purpose of inquiring of him 
whether he had taken his physic, or whether he chose she should give it to 
him. He desired her to reach down the draught which was standing upon 
the shelf in his bed-room. It is a very singular circumstance that those 
draughts, which formerly had been locked up by sir Theodosius in his closet, 
afterwards came to be placed open upon the shelf in his bed-room ; and the 
manner in which it will be accounted for is this : he once complained that 
he had neglected taking his physic at the time appointed for him ; upon which 
the prisoner said, " You should not lock the physic up ; if you leave it upon a 
shelf in your bed-room, it is not possible you can then mistake ; it will be 
before your eyes; you will be sure to take it when you want it." Lady 
Boughton reached the draught off the shelf, poured it into a cup, for the 
purpose of sir Theodosius' taking it ; he had not swallowed above half of it, 
when he complained that it was so nauseous to the taste, and disagreeable to 
the smell, that he did not apprehend he should be able to keep it upon his 
stomach. This observation led lady Boughton to smell to the draught ; the 
smell of it was extremely particular, and she will describe it to you that it 
gave her the idea of the taste of bitter almonds. She, however, gave him the 
cup again, and he swallowed the whole of the draught ; he desired her to 
furnish him with a bit of cheese to chew, for the purpose of taking away the 
disagreeable taste. She then gave him a little water; he washed his mouth, 


spit it out, and lay down, in order to compose himself. In a very few mi- 
nutes after he had swallowed this draught, he appeared to be in a considera- 
ble degree of agony ; his stomach heaved violently ; his eyes seemed much 
affected : those emotions lady Boughton at that time conceived to be his efforts 
to resist the bringing up the medicine, he having stated his apprehensions 
that, from the disagreeable taste of it, it would be impossible for him to keep 
it upon his stomach. She took no further notice of him at that time, but in 
a very few minutes he became more composed. Lady Boughton then quitted 
the room, conceiving he was going to sleep ; she returned again in about tea 
minutes afterwards, when, to her inexpressible astonishment, she found this 
young man in the agonies of death ; his eyes fixed, his teeth clenched, his 
stomach heaving with some violence, and a considerable deal of foam issuing 
from his mouth. He died in about half an hour afterwards, in the manner 
that will be described to you by lady Boughton and another witness. Here 
perhaps it may be inquired, what could bfe this poison, so fatal in its effects, 
so instantaneous in its operation ] It is hardly material in the present case 
what the poison was, if you are satisfied in your own mind that he was, in 
fact, poisoned; and that he was, no man, exercising his sober judgment upon 
the occasion, can possibly entertain a doubt. A young man, somewhat better 
than twenty years of age, having a good constitution, labouring under no 
disorder that could in the smallest degree endanger life, taking a draught ; 
the swallowing of that draught followed with the immediate symptoms that 
I have now described to you ; I say, no man who hears these circumstances 
related, can for a moment doubt but that poison produced these effects. But 
the experiments, made by learned and intelligent men in their profession, will 
satisfy you, if you want satisfaction upon that head, that this poison certainly 
was laurel water. I shall forbear to give the reasons of their judgment, be- 
cause you will hear them better from their mouths. But this is a fact, which 
you will learn correctly from lady Boughton, that whatever the draught was 
which she administered, mogt certainly it was not the draught sent by the 
apothecary ; for the smell of the draught which she administered was totally 
different from that sent by the apothecary : that fact, therefore, will be clear, 
and out of all controversy; that, whatever it was, it was not that thing sent 
by the apothecary. Gentlemen, there is a circumstance, and a very impor- 
tant one indeed in this trial, which goes to establish a strong probability that 
the poison used was a distillation of laurel water. 

The prisoner at the bar was skilled in distillation ; he was possessed of a 
still. I shall prove that he worked this still. I shall show, that within a 
month before the death of this young man, he was frequently in private, 
locked up in his own room using a still. I shall show that this still was 
afterwards produced by him, about a fortnight after the death of this young 
man, filled with lime. Now I will tell you what I conceive, and what you 
will be inclined to conjecture, was the reason of filling it with lime. If this 
still had been used for the purpose of distilling laurel water, it would have 
furnished evident traces of what the prisoner had been about ; the smell 
would have remained ; that would have led to a discovery of his practice. 
In order to remove that smell, lime was placed in the still, and which, as it 
will be explained to you, was of all others the properest thing to make use 
of in order to take away tiie smell. The still thus filled was produced to one 
of the servants, to be put into the oven to be dried, and afterwards to he 
cleaned. In order to account for its being filled with lime, the prisoner makes 
use of this singular excuse : says he, I have put the lime in it, and placed it 
under my bed for the purpose of killing fleas; an excuse more ridiculous or 
more improbable, it is not easy to suggest ; yet when he gave this still to the 
servant, he conceived it to be necessary to make some excuse — some apology 
for its appearance. Lady Boughton, when she returned again into the room 
of her son, struck with surprise and astonishment at the situation in which 
he lay, immediately despatched a servant for Mr. Powell, the apothecary, 
e2 15 


and for captain Donellan. Mr. Donellan arrived first. And here let me beg 
your attention to his conduct and behaviour upon coming- into the room. 
The moment he entered, lady Boughton, who imputed the death of her son 
to the draught that he had swallowed, immediately observed to Mr. Donel- 
lan, " Good God ! what medicine can JMr. Powell have sent ] 1 am satisfied it 
would have killed a dog if he had swallowed it." To that the prisoner an- 
swered, " Why the devil did Mr. Powell send such a medicine ] w here is the 
bottle]" She pointed to it, as it was standing upon the shelf; the prisoner 
took the bottle down ; he immediately poured water into the bottle, he shook 
it, he rinsed it, he then threw the contents of it into a basin of dirty water 
standing in the room. Lady Boughton, at this conduct, remonstrated against 
it; said, " What are you doing? let every thing remain just in the situation in 
which it is till Mr. Powell, the apothecary, arrives. For God's sake, don't 
touch the bottle !" The prisoner, notwithstanding that remonstrance, fearing 
lest by accident he might have taken up the wrong bottle, reaches down 
another from the shelf, pours water also into the second bottle (for you will 
observe there never were but two draughts of this sort sent by Mr. Powell) ; 
fearing therefore he might have mistaken the bottle, as both had labels upon 
them, he takes the second bottle, pours water into that, rinses it well, throws 
the contents of that also into the basin of dirty water. How is this to be 
accounted for] What ingenuity can glohs over this transaction"? How can 
it be reconciled to any idea of innocence 1 But that is not all ; a maid ser- 
vant came up, but that servant is since dead ; we, therefore, have lost the 
benefit of her evidence in this prosecution, though in some measure it will 
be supplied. Whilst the young man was lying in the agonies of death, the 
prisoner insisted upon this girl taking down the bottles, taking away the 
dirty things, and cleansing the room. To this lady Boughton objected; she 
begged every thing might be suffered to continue just in the same state in 
which it was, till Mr. Powell, the apothecary, came. Mr. Donellan was 
warm upon the occasion ; he insisted upon it; he pressed the woman to take 
them down — he prevailed ; the room was cleared, the bottles were removed, 
and every circumstance which could have led to suspicion was taken away 
before this man arrived. Gentlemen, when Mr. Powell comes, observe what 
was the prisoner's conduct. When the apothecary was shown into the room, 
instead of the prisoner inquiring what medicine he had sent — instead of his 
making any observation upon the eflect of it — not a word is said, not an ex- 
pression is made use of, that the draught could, by the most distant proba- 
bility, have occasioned the horrid situation in which the young man was then 
lying; but the prisoner, on the contrary, took great pains to explain to Mr. 
Powell, that sir Theodosius had taken cold, that he had been out late the 
night before a-fishing, and that cold occasioned his death. Mr. Powell is 
suffered by the prisoner to depart from the house without having a question 
put to him about the medicine ; without having the bottle shown him ; with- 
out having any means used of explaining or clearing up his own conduct, 
relative to the medicine which had produced those fatal eflfects : this is a 
circumstance, that if there was no other in this case, in my apprehension, 
ought alone to decide the fate of the prisoner. But, gentlemen, after Mr. 
Powell was gone, it occurred naturally enough to the mind of the prisoner 
that suspicions would arise in the family ; those suspicions it behooved him 
either to prevent or get rid of You will find that he is industriously going 
among the servants, even before this young man had expired, accounting to 
them for his death, representing it variously; to one, that he had taken cold, 
and that the poor foolish fellow, as he called him, had stayed out very impru- 
dently the night before, and had wet his feet; to another he represents that 
he had died of the venereal disorder ; going through the family, taking pains 
to account for the sudden death of this unfortunate young man. Now, it is 
remarkable that he should undertake to state that sir Theodosius had wet 
his feet the night before a-fishing, and that had occasioned a cold ; how 


could he know that he had wet his feet 1 Had he been fishing with him ? 
Could he possibly know the circumstance'? But I will prove to you that it 
was false ; in fact, lady Boug-hton had prudence enough to examine the stock- 
ings, which he had worn the preceding evening, and there was not an ap- 
pearance that they ever had been wetted. It will be proved to you by the 
servants who attended him, that he continued almost all the time he was out 
on horseback, that he was cautious of coming near the water, and they are 
confident his feet never were wet at all. It was necessary for the prisoner 
also to give some account of his death to the guardian, sir William Wheeler : 
he wrote to him a letter which I shall read to you. The letter is addressed 
to sir William Wheeler, written on the morning of the death of sir Theo- 
dosius. (For the letter see the examination of sir W. W^heeler, post.) 

Now, in this letter, not a word is said of the suddenness of his death, nor 
of the manner of it, nor of a suspicion that it had been occasioned by the 
medicine he had swallowed ; but the whole of the letter is calculated to im- 
press sir William with the idea that the death was a natural one, and the 
result of a long illness, for which he had been attended properly, and had 
received medical assistance. The letter indeed did produce the effect it was 
intended to produce on sir William's mind ; for no inquiry was made, no 
person of the faculty was called in. The body of this young man was kept 
secreted from all eyes, but those of the family, till the Saturday following the 
death, when he was actually soldered up in his coflin. Suspicions, however, 
had gone abroad ; people were struck with the manner of this young man's 
death ; they were greatly alarmed ; and those suspicions were so strong, that 
they at last reached the ears of the guardian, sir William Wheeler. On 
the Monday, sir William Wheeler communicates these suspicions to the 
prisoner ; and here it will be very material for you to attend to sir William 
Wheeler's letter tiihim, and to advert to his conduct upon that occasion. On 
Monday, the fourth of September, sir William Wheeler writes a letter ad- 
dressed to Mr. Donellan, stating to him, in express terms, that he had received 
information that sir Theodosius Boughton must have died by poison ; calling 
upon him, in order to satisfy the family, in order to relieve the public from 
the suspicions they entertained, to have the body opened ; and in his letter 
he expressly insists upon its being done : he names the persons he wished 
to have called in upon the occasion, a Dr. Rattray, a Mr. Wilmer, and a Mr. 
Snow. This letter was received by the prisoner on the INIonday. On the 
Monday, in consequence of that requisition — for he could not have done other- 
wise ; he dared not to have resisted the request of sir William Wheeler to 
send for these persons ; they were accordingly sent for — the prisoner sends a 
note back to sir William Wheeler, stating the approbation of himself and 
of the family that the body should be opened. In answer to that, a second 
letter is sent from sir William Wheeler, saying that he is perfectly satisfied 
to find that the family are in that disposition ; that he himself cannot come 
over to Lawford Hall ; that it would be of no use, in truth, if he did come 
over; that the medical gentlemen were the most proper to apply to, and to 
act upon the occasion. Dr. Rattray and Mr. Wilmer came to Lawford Hall 
about eight o'clock on the Monday evening, the 4th of September; they were 
met by the prisoner, who took them into a parlour. He there inquired of Dr. 
Rattray, whether he had heard from sir William Wheeler. Dr. Rattray said 
he had not. " Why," said the prisoner, " I have received a letter from sir Wil- 
liam Wheeler, which is very polite and very friendly ; I will show it to you." 
Upon that he searched as if it were in his pocket, but produces the cover of 
the letter only, and not the letter itself. Shortly afterwards, however, he did 
produce, not the first letter written by sir William Wheeler; not that letter 
in which he stated the information he had received, that this young man had 
been poisoned; not that letter in which he pressed and insisted on the body 
being opened ; but he produces the second letter, containing no directions ; 
containing nothing more than an expression of his satisfaction that the family 


were disposed to have the body opened. The perusal of which, you will 
necessarily perceive, could give no idea at all to Dr. Rattray and to Mr. Wil- 
mer of the occasion of their being sent for. Gentlemen, in point of fact, it 
was never communicated to them by the prisoner. Instead of desiring them, 
instead of urging them to open the body, instead of stating that it was in 
order to satisfy the suspicions of the public, in order to investigate what was 
the cause of the death, not a word of such intent was mentioned ; they asked 
him only why they were sent for to open the body. His answer was, " It is for 
the satisfaction of us all." They are shown into a room. The body appeared 
at that time to be in such a state of putrefaction, that not being called upon 
to act, the prisoner not having explained to ihem the reason why they should 
act, they declined doing any thina', because the body a])peared to them at that 
time to be in such a state that it would be attended with some degree of 
personal danger to themselves, if they attempted to open it. They are dis- 
missed the house ; they are sent away without the prisoner ever once asking 
an opinion of them, without ever calling upon them for their judgment, to 
say, even from the appearance of the body, what had occasioned the death : 
not a word is said to them, not an inquiry made. They are suffered to depart, 
leaving Mr. Donellan and the family just in the state in which they found 
them. Gentlemen, this is not all ; on the next morning, a young man, a Mr. 
BucknilJ, a stirgeon, came to Lawtord Hall. He had heard of the suspi- 
cions entertained ; he had learned that the gentlemen of the faculty, who 
had been at Lawford Hall the evening preceding, had declined opening the 
body. He came to the prisoner. Donellan, stating the purpose of his coming; 
saying he was ready at all hazards to open the body, in order to give satisfac- 
tion to the public. ■ The prisoner wotild not permit him to do it; the prisoner 
assigns, as a reason for his refusal, that he had not been ordered by sir Wil- 
liam Wheeler to send for him ; that the persons sent for by sir W"illiam had 
declined opening the body ; that it would be unfair and improper in him to 
permit anybody else to attempt it after they had declined it; and with rea- 
sons and excuses of this sort, this young man Avas permitted on the morning 
to depart from the house, ready as he was to open the body, and to give every 
satisfaction that inspection could have afforded. After that the prisoner writes 
an answer to sir William Wheeler's first letter; this letter is dated the 5th of 
September, 1780. (For the whole of this letter see the examination of sir 
W. Wheeler, post.) 

Mind, gentlemen, the fallacy of this. What did he give \ did he give the 
letter which conveyed the directions'? did he give the letter which called 
upon the medical gentlemen to act] did he give the letter which contained 
the suspicions of this j'oung man having been poisoned 1 You will learn 
from the witnesses, that the letter which they saw was that second letter — 
a complimentary answer to Mr. Donellan's note — containing no directions, 
containing no instructions for them to act; and upon a perusal of which, they 
were furnished with no ideas for their conduct. The letter then goes on : 
" The four gentlemen proceeded accordingly, and I am happy to inform you 
that they iully satisfied us." Good God ! in what does this satisfaction 
consist ] What inquiry was made — what investigation of the death — what 
opinion was asked after — what opinion was formed ? Not a single circum- 
stance was ever mentioned — not a single inquiry ever made — not a single 
opinion ever expressed to the prisoner; yet upon this he writes back to sir 
William Wheeler, "that they have fully satisfied us." In my apprehension, 
were there no other fact in this case than this single letter, it speaks as 
strongly as a thousand witnesses present, and testifying to the actual com- 
mission of the crime. I shall not read the latter part of the letter now, 
because the whole of it will be read to you in evidence ; this part I use as 
affording an observation which I conceive material for j'our consideration. 
Mr. JVewnham. — I desire the whole of the letter may be read now. 
3Ir. Hoivorth. — As the counsel for the prisoner desires the whole of the 


letter to be read now, I shall certainly do it. (See examination of sir W. 
Wheeler, post.) 

This is the whole of the letter; and the latter part of it is calculated still 
to mislead sir William Wheeler, is calculated to allay his suspicions, and to 
account for his death from other causes than poison. The letter certainly 
produced in sir William Wheeler's mind the effect intended by it; for upon 
the perusal of it, he was satisfied that the body had been opened ; and as he 
was acquainted with the abilities and the integrity of the gentlemen applied 
to upon that occasion, if they were satisfied, he himself was perfectly satis- 
fied. You will judge, however, of his surprise on learning, three or four days 
afterwards, that the body never in fact had been opened. He immediately 
writes to Mr. Donellan, states to him his astonishment at the body not having 
been opened ; desires immediately that Mr. Bucknill might be sent for, that 
Mr. Snow might be sent for, and that at till events the body should be opened. 
Mr. Bucknill is sent for. When Mr. Bucknill comes, as Mr. Snow had not 
at that time arrived at Lawford Hall, he went to see a patient, and left word 
he should be back in an hour. Mr. Snow within that hour comes ; Mr. Snow 
is told that Mr. Wilmer had declined opening the body, because it was so much 
in a state of putrefaction that he apprehended danger. Upon this informa- 
tion, Mr. Snow is got out of the house ; and upon Mr. Bucknill's return, it is 
stated to him that Mr. Snow had declined it, it being too hazardous for him; 
and Mr. Bucknill is sent away also, without the body having been opened. " 
This is a most extraordinary circumstance. What, after the letters received 
from sir William Wheeler, after the suspicion is strongly pointed, after an 
express requisition, yet the prisoner is found preventing, by a conduct the 
most artful that can be imagined, the body's being opened ! On that day 
the body was buried ; but before its interment, he writes a note to sir William 
Wheeler, to satisfy him as to the reason why the body was not opened. This 
letter is very material for your consideration ; in answer to sir William Wheel- 
er's, this was the day upon which the body was buried, about one o'clock. 
(For this letter see evidence of sir W. Wheeler, post.) 

This, gentleman, is a specious show, indeed, of an inclination to postpone 
the burial; till when? till Dr. Rattray and Mr. Wilmer are sent for] who, 
if they are sent for, can give no information upon the subject; not an offer 
made to Mr. Bucknill to be then permitted to open the body, nor an offer 
made that anybody else should be called upon ; b\]t he offered to postpone 
the burial of the corpse till he (sir William) had seen the persons he had 
sent there, namely. Dr. Rattray and Mr. Wilmer, from whom he can by no 
possibility receive information upon the subject. Between the hours of three 
and four o'clock that evening, the body was buried ; but the circumstances of 
its being interred without having been previously opened, wonderfully alarmed 
the minds of all people ; and it was insisted upon, and laudably, by the gentle- 
men in the neighbourhood, that the coroner should be called, that the body 
should be taken up, and that should be done by course of law which the pri- 
soner had taken so much pains to prevent. The body was accordingly taken 
up and opened. What appearances the body afforded, you will hear from the 
gentlemen who were present and opened it. I shall not forestall the account 
which they will give you, because you will hear it with more propriety, and 
with greater correctness, from their mouths ; it will be enough for me to say, 
that the appearances the body afforded, confirmed them strongly in their 
judgment and opinion that this young man had been poisoned. During the 
course of this examination before the coroner, lady Boughton, the prisoner 
Mr. Donellan, and I believe the whole family, were called upon as witnesses. 
When lady Boughton was telling the whole circumstances of the case ; when 
she came to that most remarkable instance of the prisoner's having washed 
the bottles, in spite of every opposition that she could give to the measure ; 
the prisoner was observed to lay hold of her by the sleeve, to endeavour to 
check her from giving that fact in evidence. That circumstance struck the 


persons who observed it ; it is a circumstance that cannot be explained by any 
possibility ; it cannot be imputed to folly ; no art can explain itawaJ^ Those 
who are at all acquainted with the human mind, must feel it as speaking, most 
forcibly, the efforts of a guilty man to screen from the public eye a 
fact which he perceived must stamp his guilt upon every mind. That 
circumstance will be proved to you by people of veracity ; nay, gentlemen, 
it will be in proof to you, that after he returned to Lawford Hall with 
lady Boughton, before the whole of the inquiry was over before the coroner 
he chides her for meddling in it ; he checks her, says you are not to give the 
whole account, you are only to answer such questions as are put to you, and 
you must say nothing else. Say nothing else ! is there any thing to be con- 
cealed ■? is it material for him that any thing should be concealed ? Yet this you 
will have proved to be the conduct of the prisoner, both before the coroner and 
upon his return to Lawford Hall. When the prisoner found that the idea of 
this young man having been poisoned was so generally entertained, that there 
was no probability of getting rid of that suspicion by the ridiculous pretence 
of his having taken cold, or having died by any such means, captain Donellau 
writes a letter addressed to the coroner and his jury. That letter was sent to 
them on the last day of their sitting, which was the third day. This letter 
is very material, and I shall read it to you. It is addressed by the prisoner to 
the coroner and the gentlemen of the jury at Newbold. (For this letter see 
the close of the evidence for the crown, post.) 

The materiality of this letter is, that you will find the prisoner, when the 
idea of sir Theodosius having been poisoned is so far circulated that it is 
universally believed, that he then finds it necessary to account for the death 
by poison ; and the whole scope of that letter is to induce the jury to believe 
that this young man had inadvertently poisoned himself. Now, independent 
of the strength of that observation, it will be in proof to you that the letter 
is false in fact; for it is not true, that the family had not, for many months, 
touched of any dish that sir Theodosius had eaten of: on the contrary, the ob- 
servation was never made, and you will learn that the whole was clearly an 
invention calculated to answer the purposes proposed by the prisoner in that 
letter. The prisoner, however, was committed upon the coroner's warrant 
to jail. Since his commitment, his conduct will afford very material matter 
for your consideration. Since neither the pretence of this young man's having 
taken cold, and died by that means ; since the invention of his having inad- 
vertently poisoned himself had not been adopted by anybody ; it was found 
necessary then for the prisoner to supjiose, and then for him to give out, that 
this young man had been poisoned by somebody else; and I shall call to you 
a witness, who has had frequent conversations with him in jail — and conversa- 
tions very fairly to be given in evidence here ; because this man frequently cau- 
tioned the prisoner not to mention before him circumstances which may make 
against him, as probably he should be called to give evidence of them ; but so so- 
licitous lias the prisoner been to account for this young man's death, that he has 
frequently to this man pressed the conversation upon him, notwithstanding he 
has been cautioned by the man respecting it. In one of the conversations, it 
will be in proof to you that Darbyshire, which is the name of the man, said to 
him, Why do you believe that sir Theodosius was in truth poisoned ] — Says 
the prisoner, I make no doubt of it. — Why, who do you think could have poi- 
soned him ? — Why, says he, it must lie among themselves. — Who do you 
mean] — Why, says he, either sir Theodosius himself, lady Boughton, or 
the apothecary, or the servants; it must be among them; some of them did it, 
there is no doubt of it. — Why, says Darbyshire, the young man would hard- 
ly poison himself? — Why, no. — 1 don't think that neither, says Darbyshire ; 
it could not be the interest of the apothecary, he could get nothing by it, he 
would lose a patient by it; and lady Boughton could get nothing by it, be- 
sides it's being in itself the most unnatural conduct'? — Upon which the pri- 
soner turned round, and said, I don't know which of them, but it is amongst 


them. — This, then, affords decisive evidence that, in the prisoner's own 
judgment, this young man had been poisoned by somebody. But I shall 
add to that another very- strong piece of evidence, indeed, to prove the prisoner 
is quite satisfied in his own mind that sir Theodosius was poisoned ; and that 
is a letter which, since he has been in confinement, he wrote to Mrs. Donellan ; 
and this letter I produce without feeling the least reluctance, because it will 
be proved to you that the letter was sent unsealed, in order to be delivered to 
Mrs. Donellan. The man who carried it went to the prisoner, told him, " Sir, 
you have not sealed this letter — do you mean I should carry it open ]" — " Yes 
I mean that you should, and I mean that it should be made public ;" upon that 
the gentleman who carried it opened it, took a copy of it, which copy I shall 
produce and read in evidence. This letter is dated Warwick, the 8th of De- 
cember, 1780. 

Mr. JVewnham. Till your lordship decides that a copy of a letter is evi- 
dence, I submit to your lordship it ought not to be opened. 

Court. It depends upon the manner in which they lay it before the court; 
they must give the best evidence that the nature of the case admits ; now the 
custody of Mrs. Donellan, in point of law, is the custody of the prisoner. 

3Ir Howorth. " I am now informed that Mr. Harris' clerk is here ; and hope 
that by this time you have removed under the friendly roof I last recom- 
mended to you, and no longer remain where you are likely to undergo the 
fate of those that have gone already by sudden means, which Providence will 
bring to light by and by. In my first letter to you from Rugby, the 14th of 
November last, I mentioned a removal ; I had my reasons, which will appear 
in an honest light in March next, to the eternal confusion of an unnatural 

Now, gentlemen, by this letter you perceive that the prisoner is satisfied of 
the fact that this young man had in truth been poisoned ; but for the purpose 
of removing the suspicion from himself, now dares to lay a charge where sus- 
picion has never fallen. The materiality of this letter, however, is only to 
prove the conviction of the prisoner's mind that this young man had in truth 
been poisoned : that he has been poisoned is a melancholy truth. Justice de- 
mands the punishment of the murderer ; it remains only for your verdict to 
determine the guilt, and to consign the criminal to his fate. 


Mr. Thomas Powell sworn — Examined by Mr. Wheeler. 

Q. Of what profession are you 1 A. An apothecary. 

Q. Where do you live ■? A. At Rugby. 

Q. Is that near to Lawford Hall, where sir Theodosius Boughton resided ? 
A. It is within about three miles. 

Q. Had you for any time before the death of sir Theodosius Boughton been 
employed as his apothecary ■? A. Yes, for two months. 

Q. When did sir Theodosius die ] A. On the 30th of August. 

Q. In what state of health was he when first you attended him 1 A. He 
had got a venereal complaint upon him. 

Q. To what degree? A. Not very high, rather slight; a fresh com- 

Q. Did you give him any medicine for that complaint ■? A. I gave him 
some cooling physic. 

Q. How long might you continue that? A. For about three weeks. 

Q. Did you then cease to give him physic ] A. Yes. 

Q. For how long? A. More than a fortnight. 

Q. How came you afterwards to repeat the medicines ? A. Because he 
had a swelling in his groin. 

Q. To what degree did that arise ? A. To a very small one ; it did not 
rise above the skin. 



Q. Did you give him any more medicines ] A. Yes, four doses ; two of 
manna and salts, the other two of rhubarb and jalap 

Q. Was any thing else given to sir Theodosius Boughton 1 A. Nothing 
else, but an embrocation to wash himself with. 

Q. When did you send sir Theodosius the last draught 1 A. On a Tuesday, 
the 29th of August. 

Q. By whom did you send them 1 A. Samuel Frost. 

Q. How long before you sent sir Theodosius this last draught had you 
seen him ] A. On the Tuesday afternoon, the same day I sent the last, I 
saw him. 

Q. In what state of health did he then appear ] A. In great spirits and 
good health. 

Q. How long before that had you seen him 1 A. The Sunday or the 
Saturday before. 

Q. In what state of health did he then appear 1 A. A very good state of 

Q. Did you ask him how the first of these draughts agreed with himl A. 
He told me that which he took on the Saturday made him sick. 

Q. You say you saw him on Sunday or Saturday, and he appeared to you 
in good health, and likewise saw him again on the Tuesday 1 A. Yes. 

Q. You before told us you sent this last draught by Frost ; have you one 
of the same kind about you? A. I have (produces a draught in a two ounce 

Q. Was it a phial of the same size as this, and filled with the sam.e ingre- 
dients "? A. Yes. 

Q. What are those ingredients'? A. Rhubarb and jalap, spirits of laven- 
der, nutmeg water, and simple syrup. 

Q. I see you have another draught in your hand. A. Yes. 

Q. What is that? A. The same, except the simple water ; there is the 
same quantity of rhubarb and jalap. 

Q. What is added to that ? A. Laurel water. 

Q. You mentioned before that this was sent upon the Tuesday; it was 
I think upon the Thursday that sir Theodosius Boughton died ? A. No, on 
Wednesday morning. 

Q. Was you then sent frr to Lawford Hall ? A. On the Wednesday 
morning I was. 

Q. At what time? A. About eight or nine o'clock. 

Q. Who was the person that came for you? A. William Frost. 

Q. The same man that you had before sent the draught by ? A. No ; his 
name was Samuel Frost. 

Q. What message did he bring to you ? A. He said sir Theodosius was 
very ill, and that he was sent by lady Boughton to fetch me ; I went imme- 

Q. What time might it be when you got there? A. Nearly nine o'clock. 

Q. When you got to Lawford Hall, did you go into the room where sir 
Theodosius was ? A. I did. 

Q. Whom did you find there ? A. I met captain Donellan in the court- 
yard ; he went along with me into the room. 

Q. Who were in the room besides you and Mr. Donellan ? A. Some 
servant, I cannot tell which. 

Q. Who else was there ? A. Nobody else. 

Q. Was lady Boughton there when you first came ? A. Not when I first 

Q. In what situation did you find sir Theodosius Boughton ? A. I saw 
no distortion. 

Q. What did you see ? A. Nothing particular. 

Q. Was he alive or dead ? A. He had been dead near an hour. 




Q. Did Mr. Donellan ask you any questions 1 A. He asked me no ques- 
tion at all. 

Q. How long might you remain with him in the room 1 A. 1 cannot tell 
exactly ; for some miautes. 

Q. Did you say any thing to him ^ A. I asked him how he died ; captain 
Donellan told me in convulsions. 

Q. Did you see any thing of the bottles you had before sent? A. I saw 
nothing of them ; they never were mentioned. 

Q. Were they in the room ? A. No. 

Q. Had you any further account than what you have now mentioned, given 
you by anybody of the manner of sir Theodosius' death ? A. No other than 
that he died of convulsions. 

Q. Do you remember having any other conversation with Mr. Donellan 
about sir Theodosius "? A. 1 don't know the particular words he made use of; 
but his general intent was to make me believe that sir Theodosius Boughton 
had taken cold. 

Q. Are you acquainted with Mr. Donellan's handwriting? A. Yes, I am. 

Q. Have you often seen him write ? A. I have seen him write. (Several 
letters were shown the witness, which he deposed were the prisoner's hand- 

Q. 1 believe you mentioned the quantity of ingredients you mixed up ? A. 
Fifteen grains of each. 

Mr. Thomas Powell, cross-examined by Mr. Newnham. 

Q. Describe exactly the proportion of the several ingredients. A. Fifteen 
grains of each, of rhubarb and of jalap ; spirits of lavender, twenty drops ; 
nutmeg water, two drachms ; two drachms of simple syrup, and an ounce and 
a half of simple water. 

Q. Then there are two ounces only of liquor, except the twenty drops of 
lavender? A. Yes. 

Q. You had given one of these draughts on the Monday ? A. Yes. 

Q. What effect had the first medicine you gave him ? A. It purged him 
very well, and agreed with him very well ; he had many stools. 

Mr. Howorth. Did it make him sick ? A. Not at all, it agreed with him 
very well ; it was on the Saturday it made him sick ; and in consequence of 
that I changed the physic from manna and salts to rhubarb and jalap. 

Mr. Newnham. You say that Mr. Donellan told you that sir Theodosius 
died of convulsions, and that was all the conversation about it? A. Yes. 

Q. Did it not occur to you, as a physical man, to inquire when these con- 
vulsions commenced, and when sir Theodosius died ? A. The convulsions 
took place soon after the draught was taken. 

Q. What idea have you of soon ? A. A quarter of an hour, or sooner. 

Q. Do you know for certain ? A. I do not. 

Q. Why did you not inquire ? A. I did inquire. 

Q. You saw lady Boughton ? A. Yes. 

Q. Had you no conversation with her ? A. Yes, she said he was con- 
vulsed soon after he took the medicine. 

Q. Did not you inquire how soon ? A. He was convulsed almost im- 

iMdy Anna Maria Boughton sworn — Examined hy Mr. Howorth. 
Q. How old was sir Theodosius Boughton ? A. Twenty years of age the 
3d of August last. 

Q. What fortune would your son have been entitled to upon his coming of 
age ? A. Above £2000 a year. 

Q. Upon the event of his dying before he came of age, what would then 
become of the fortune? A. The greater part of his fortune would have 
descended to his sister. 

L 16 


Q. Who I understand married Mr. Donellan ■? A. Yes. 

Q. How long had Mr. Donellan resided in your family at Lawford Hall ? 
A. From some time in the year 1778 ; from about the month of June. 

Q. How long had your son, sir Theodosius, made part of the family at 
Lawford Hall before his death? A. In the year 177a he came from Mr. 
Jones, a tutor of his, and came to live at Lawford Hall. 

Q. Have you, at any time, had conversation with the prisoner, Mr. Donel- 
lan, respecting the state of your son's health; and about what time was that 
conversation held 1 A. Several times before the deceased's death he spoke 
to me about sir Theodosius' health. 

Q. What were the expressions used by him when he talked about the bad 
health of your son? A. He said, "Don't talk about leaving Lawford Hall ; 
something or other may happen ; he is in a very bad state of health ; you 
cannot tell what may happen before that time." I thought he meant his 
being so very venturous in going a-hunting, and the like. 

Q. Do you know of any intention in sir Theodosius to have gone to a 
friend's in Northamptonshire, and to have stayed there for any time 1 A. 
He expected Mr. Fonnereau to come to Lawford Hall the latter end of that 
week in which he died. 

Q. I believe Mr. Fonnereau did in fact come 1 A. Yes, he did. 

Q. When ? A. He came, I believe, on the Friday night. 

Q. Had you heard from Mr. Donellan any thing respecting the stay that 
sir Theodosius would probably make in Northamptonshire? A. 1 don't re- 

Q. Was his stay intended to be long or short ? A. My son said, Mr. Fon- 
nereau was to stay with him a week ; then my son was to return with him 
in Northamptonshire. 

Q. Was he going to stay a long or short time there ? A. He did not say 
how long. 

Q. Mr. Powell, we have heard, was the apothecary who attended him. 
Do you recollect any draught being sent to sir Theodosius on Tuesday, the 
29th of August? A. The servant was sent on Tuesday for the bottles. 
Upon inquiry where the servant was, Mr. Donellan said, " O, sir The has 
sent him a second time for the bottle of stufi'!" 

Q. It was known in the family that sir Theodosius was to take his physic 
next morning ? A. Yes, it was. 

Q. Does your ladyship know where sir Theodosius used to keep the physic 
that was sent him ? A. He used to put it in his dressing-room. He hap- 
pened once to forget to take it ; Mr. Donellan said, " Why don't you set it 
in your outer room ; then you would not so soon forget it." 

Q. Do you know whether in fact that advice was followed ? Where were 
the medicines kept after that? A. He had several after that upon his shelf 
over his chimney-piece in his outer room. 

Q. Where did sir Theodosius go on the evening of Tuesday, the 29th? 
A. I saw him in the afternoon ; he went a-fishing. 

Q. About what time did he go ? A. About six o'clock. 

Q. Did you see him shortly before he went? A. No, I did not. 

Q. After he had gone out a-fishing, what men servants were left behind in 
the family ? A. The gardener, and the coachman, and John, the footman. 

Q. Were there either of men servants with sir Theodosius a-fishing? A. 
Yes, Samuel Frost was the only one. 

Q. What became of yourself and Mrs. Donellan ? A. She and I went to 
take a walk in the garden. 

Q. How long do you think you and Mrs. Donellan were out in the garden? 
A. Above an hour. 

Q. When was it that you had last seen Mr. Donellan before you walked 
into the garden, and where ? A. To the best of my remembrance, I saw 
nothing of him after dinner. 



Q. Do you remember whether he joined you in your walk in the garden, 
and about what time 1 A. He came about seven o'clock out of the house- 
door to me and Mrs. Donellan, and told us that "he had been to see them 
a-fishing, and that he would have persuaded sir The to come in lest he 
should take cold, but he could not." 

Q. Do you recollect at what time sir Theodosius came home ■? A. A little 
after nine o'clock. 

Q. Was he then apparently in health 1 A. He then seemed very well. 

Q. How did he dispose of himself till he went to bed, and at what time 
did he go to bed ■? A. He went up into his own room soon after he came in. 

Q. Did he eat any supper ] A. I told him I was going up into my room. 
As I was going up-stairs he called me into his room, and desired my permis- 
sion to make use of my servant to go next morning with the net, as he ex- 
pected his iriend, Mr. Fonnereau, to come. He went to bed. 

Q. How did he appear at that time in his health 1 A. He seemed very 

Q. What time did you see him next morning] A. About seven o'clock. 

Q. Did you go into his room at that time ? A. He had desired me to call 
him as I went by his room in the morning, and give him his physic. 

Q. At that time in the morning how did he appear as to his health ? A. 
He appeared tlien to be very well. 

Q. Give the jury an account of the physic you gave him, and the manner of 
its operation. A. I asked him, "where the bottle was;" he said, "it stood 
there upon the shelf." First of all, he desired me to get him a bit of cheese 
in order to take the taste out of his mouth, which I did; he desired me to 
read the label ; I accordingly did, and found there was written upon it, purg- 
ing draught for sir Thendusius Boughton. 

Q. When you gave him the draught, did he make any, and what observa- 
tions upon it ] A. As I was talking to him I omitted shaking the bottle ; he, 
observing that, said, " Pour it back again, and shake the bottle," and in so 
doing, I spilt part of it upon the table; the rest I gave him. As he was 
taking it, he observed, " it smelt and tasted very nauseous ;" upon which, I 
said, " I think it smells very strongly like bitter almonds." I gave him the 
cheese ; he chewed it and spit it out. He then remarked, "that he thought 
he should not be able to keep the medicine upon his stomach." I asked him 
" if he would have some water?" I gave him some. He washed his mouth, 
and spit that out, and then laid down. 

Q. Please to open that bottle (giving lady Boughton the genuine draught), 
and smell at it, and inform the court whether that smells at all like the medi- 
cine sir Theodosius took T A. No, it does not. 

Q. Please to smell this (giving lady Boughton the draught with the 
laurel water added to it). A. This has a smell very like the smell of the 
medicine which I gave him. 

Q, What was the first observation your ladyship made of any appearance 
upon sir Theodosius after taking the medicine ? A. In two minutes or a 
minute and a half after he had taken it, he struggled very much ; it appeared 
to me as if it was to keep it down, and made a prodigious rattling in his 
stomach, and guggling ; and he appeared to me to make very great efforts to 
keep it down. 

Court. How did he make a rattling'? A. A noise in his stomach as if it 
would come up again. 

Q. How long did you observe these symptoms continue 1 A. About ten 
minutes ; he then seemed as if he was going to sleep, or inclined to dose. 
Perceiving him a little composed, I went out of the room. I returned in 
about five m.inutes after into his room ; there, to my great surprise, I found 
him with his eyes fixed upwards, his teeth clenched, and froth running out 
of each corner of his mouth. 


Q. What did you do upon that 1 A. I ran down-stairs, and told the servant 
to take the first horse he could get, and go immediately for Mr. Powell. 

Q. Was any other person sent for ] A. No. 

Q. When did you first see Mr. Donellan after that 1 A. I saw him in less 
than five minutes; he came up to the bedchamber where my son was, and 
asked me, " JJ^hat do you want?'''' I said, "I wanted to inform him what a 
terrible thing had happened ; that it was an unaccountable thing in the doctor 
to send such a medicine, for if it had been taken by a dog, it would have 
killed him ; and I did not think my son would live." He asked in what 
manner sir The was taken, and I told him. Then he asked me where the 
physic bottle was. I showed him the two draughts. He took up one of the 
bottles, and said, " is this it"?" — " Yes," said I. He took it up, poured some 
water out of the water-bottle, which was just by, into the phial, shook it, 
and then emptied it out into some dirty water which was in a wash-hand 

Q. Did you make any observation upon that conduct ] A. After he had 
thrown the contents of the first bottle into the wash-hand basin of dirty 
water, I observed that he ought not to do that. 1 said, " What are you at? 
you should not meddle with the bottle." Upon that he snatched up the other 
bottle, and poured water into it, and shook it; then he put his finger to it 
and tasted it. I said, " what are you about] — you ought not to meddle with 
the bottles." Upon which, he said, " I did it to taste it." 

Q. Had he tasted the first bottle ? A. No. 

Q. Did any of the servants come up into the room 1 A, Yes, Sarah Bluu 
dell and Catherine Amos. 

Q. What is become of Sarah Blundell % A. She is dead. 

Q. Upon their coming up, was any thing said or done by Mr. Donellan 
that particularly called your attention to it T A. He desired Sarah Blundell 
" to take aivay the basin, the dirty things, and the bottles;'" and he put the 
bottles into her hand. 

Q. What did you say to that 1 A. 1 took them out of her hand, set them 
down, and bid her let the things alone. 

Q. Did you at that time assign any reason why they should be left there, 
and for what purpose ? A. I did not. 

Q. What was done upon that 1 A. He then desired " that the room might 
be cleaned,''^ and the clothes thrown into an inner room. I opened the door 
of the inner room. As soon as Sarah Blundell had put the clothes into the 
inner room, Mr. Donellan, while my back was turned, put the bottles into 
her hand again, and bid her take them down ; and was angry she had not 
done it at first. 

Q. Did you see the bottles put into her hand the second time ? A. 1 
did not. 

Q. Did you hear any order given by him ? A. No, but Sarah Blundell 
told me so. 

Q. Then all you know in fact is, that they were taken out of the room 1 
A. They were. 

Q. You did not see who took them outl A. No. 

Court. Did you see who first left the room after the clothes were put into 
the next room 1 A. Sarah Blundell left it first. 

Q. How soon did you perceive that the bottles were gone ? A. I did not 
observe it directly. 

Q. But how soon did you find out that they had been removed 1 A. 1 
cannot tell the time. 

Q. Before you left the room yourself, did you discover that the bottles were 
gone ] A. I did not. 

Mr. Howorth. When all this happened, the washing the bottles and re- 
moving the clothes, was sir Theodosius Boughton dead T A. He was nearly 


dead ; one of the maids was wiping the froth off his mouth, and his stomach 
at that time heaved. 

Q. In the course of that morning do you remember having said any thing 
to Mr. Donellan, or he to you, as to the suspicions entertained of the medi- 
cine he had taken 1 A. Some time afterwards I was down in the parhaur, 
Mr. Donellan and my daughter were there. Mr. Donellan, in my presence, 
said to his wife, that her mother (meaning me) had been pleased to take 
notice of his washing the bottles out; and that he did not know what he 
should have done if he had not thought of saying he put the water into it to 
put his finger to it to taste. 

Q. What passed further upon that ? A. I turned away from him to the 
window, and made no answer to it ; upon which he again repeated the same. 

Q. What happened then 1 A. As I made no answer, he desired his wife to 
ring the bell in order to call tip a servant,- when the servant came, he ordered 
that servant to send in Will, the coachman. 

Q. Did the coachman come ] A. He did. 

Q. Relate what passed between Mr. Donellan and the coachman. A. 
When the coachman came, Mr. Donellan said, " Will, don't you remember 
that I set out of these iron gates this morning about seven o'clock ?" — " Yes, 
sir," said he. " You remember that, don't you V — " Yes, sir." — " And that 
was the first time of my going out. I have never been on the other side of 
the house this morning. You remember that I set out there at seven o'clock 
this morning, and asked for a horse to go to the Wells'?" — "Yes, sir." Mr. 
Donellan said, " then you are my evidence." The servant answered, " Yes, 

Q. Did Mr. Donellan make any other observation which called your atten- 
tion ■? A. None that I recollect. 

Q. Do you remember Mr. Donellan receiving a letter from sir William 
Wheeler, and when was the first letter he received from sir William 1 A. 
He received a letter from sir William Wheeler, desiring the body might be 

Q. Do you rememberbeing shown the answer to that letter] A. Yes, I do. 

Q. Who showed it you "? A. Mr. Donellan. 

Q. Do you recollect having made any observation upon his answer which 
he sent sir William Wheeler after Dr. Rattray and Mr. Wilmer had been 
there ? A. I remember he read the letter : I thought it of no use ; that it 
would be unnecessary to send it. 

Q. Did you state any reason why the letter was to be objected to ? A. 
I did not ; I said, " He had better let it alone, and not send such a letter as 

Q. You disliked the letter, but the reason of your dislike you did not 
explain to him ] A. No ; but he said it was necessary to send an answer, 
and he would send it. 

Q. Do you recollect upon what day sir Theodosius was buried 1 A. He 
died on the Wednesday morning, and was buried on the next Wednesday. 

Q. Do you remember afterwards attending before the coroner and his jury, 
in order to be examined ] A. I do. 

Q. Was Mr. Donellan present at that examination 1 A. Yes, he was. 

Q. Did you mention to the jury, in your account there, the circumstance of 
the prisoner's washing the bottles 1 A. I did. 

Q. When you returned home to Lawford Hall, had you any conversation 
with Mr. Donellan respecting that circumstance ■? A. He said to his wife, 
before me, " That I had no occasion to have told the circumstance of his 
washing the bottles. I was only to answer such questions as were put to me, 
and that question had not been asked me." 

Q. On the morning of the death of your son, did Mr. Donellan endeavour to 
account to you, by any means, in any way, for what had been the occasion 
of his death ? A. When the things were removing away, to be put into the 

* -^^ 


inner room, he said to the maid, " Here take his stockings, they have heen 
wet ; he has catched cold to be sure, and that might occasion his death." 
Upon that I examined the stockings, and there was no mark or appearance 
of their having been wet. 

Q, I presume that you, sir Theodosius, Mr. Donellan, and the family dined 
together at the same table 1 A. Yes. 

Q. For some time before the death of sir Theodosius, had there been any 
intention in you and the other part of the family not to eat of the same dish 
that sir Theodosius eat of? A. We ate of the same dishes. 

Q. Was there any fear or apprehension entertained by you, or by any person 
else expressed to you, of your being in danger of being poisoned] A. Mr. 
Donellan recommended to me not to drink out of the same cup, because he 
was affected with a venereal disorder, nor to touch the bread he did, because 
there might be arsenic about his lingers, as he used to put arsenic for his fish. 

Q. But no such attention was paid as to things brought to table to eat? 
A. No. 

Lady Mnna Maria Boughton, cross-examined hy Mr. Ncwnhavi. 

Q. When was it that your ladyship and sir Theodosius went to Bath 1 
A. The 1st of November, 1778. 

Q. Did you go upon a visit to captain Donellan and his lady 1 A. They 
asked me to go. 

Q. When did you hear captain Donellan say that your son was in a bad 
state of health, how long before his death 1 A. He often talked about it for 
three weeks or a month before the time of his death. 

Q. That was only after he had been attended by Mr. Powell for a recent 
complaint, but before that you was pleased to say Mr. Donellan often ex- 
pressed to you that sir The. was in a bad state of health ? A. Yes, that 
he was in a bad way, or that something or other would happen to him. 

Q. How long before was that ? A. That was about a fortnight or three 
weeks before. 

Q. Had not you yourself apprized Mr. Donellan and his lady, long before 
this, that your son was in a bad state of health ] A. I had said that my son 
had been ill of a particular disorder. 

Q. Had not you written to Bath in the year 1777 and in 1778, "that his 
hue complexion was gone, and he was in a very bad way "f A. I said 1 
was afraid he was in a bad way, for his complexion was altered. 

Q. I quote your words, " His fine complexion was gone"'? A. Yes. 

Q. At what time did you go to Bath? A. The 1st of November 1778. 

Q. You had previously informed Mr. Donellan that your son was in a bad 
state of health ? Yes. 

Q. Sir The. went with you to Bath 1 A. Yes. 

Q. Do you recollect a quarrel that happened between sir Theodosius and a 
gentleman at Bath ? A. Yes, and Mr. Donellan interfered to prevent any 
tiling happening. 

Q. Does not your ladyship recollect a quarrel your son had at Rugby ? 
A. Yes. 

Q. Pray, who was sent for on that occasion 1 A. Mr. Donellan. 

Q. Did not your ladyship go to Mr. Donellan's room door, and early in the 
morning press him to go over immediately ? A. Yes. 

Q. Did not you put the letter under the door? A. I wrote a letter, and had 
it put under the door, desiring him to go to Rugby, on account of a quarrel 
that had happened there. 

Q. Did Mr. Donellan interfere and prevent any mischief happening there? 
A. He told me he did. 

Q. Now, as to a third quarrel ; whether he had not another quarrel with a 
gentleman at Daventry ? A. They were both at Rugby. 

Q. With a Mr. Wildgoose of Daventry, at Rugby ? A. Yes. 

♦ I- 


Q. Was there not a quarrel with Mr. Chartres ? A. Yes, at that time I 
believe, but I am not certain. 

Q. Don't you recollect your son telling you that he went up at Newbold 
to the church steeple, and that if it had not been for Mr. Donellan, who 
caught him in his arms, he must have broke his neck 1 A. He did not tell 
me that. 

Q. Did not he tell you he went up to the top of the church 1 A. Yes, but 
he did not tell me about being in any danger. 

Q. Did not your ladyship, when he told you he had met with an accident 
and an escape, inquire into the particulars of it ] A. I don't remember that 
he did tell me so. 

Q. Do you remember no circumstance ; don't you remember his men- 
tioning that part of the church tumbling down when he was at the top of the 
church"? A. No. 

Q. Did not you return home together in the coach, and did not he mention 
it in the coach to you that he had been at the top of the church, and had 
fallen down in going up to the weathercock "? A. I don't remember any 
thing of it. 

Q. What time in the morning was it that your ladyship arose on the 30th 
of August? A. About six o'clock, I believe. 

Q. On the day before you said sir Theodosius had been fishing ] A. Yes. 

Q. What time did he return home ] A. At a little after nine o'clock, I 

Q. Did not your ladyship express some anxiety about his being out so 
late ? A. I sent to him, he did not come ; I said, " Tell him I want to speak 
with him." 

Q. Do you recollect whether Mr. Donellan was, or not, gone to bed before 
sir Theodosius returned ? A. I believe he was. 

Q. Was not your ladyship and Mr. Donellan to ride out together the next 
morning 1 A. The prisoner asked me to go with him to the Wells. I agreed 
to go. 

Q. Did not Mr. Donellan ask your ladyship, under the window, if you 
was ready ? A. As I passed by the window that looks into the court, I 
heard Mr. Donellan call out, "Is your ladyship ready to ride out]" I said, 
" I shall be ready in about a quarter of an hour, I am going to put my things 
on." He said he would go to the Wells. 

Q. That is after you left your son's room, when you thought he was going 
to sleep ■? A. Yes. 

Q. How happened it, after your son had had these convulsive appearances, 
and had frightened your ladyship so much, that you did not at that time disclose 
to Mr. Donellan that he was in that condition, and you could not ride out 1 
A. I thought he appeared as if he was going to sleep -; it went off, and he 
seemed going to dose ; so I imagined it was only his violent efforts to pre- 
vent bringing up the physic. 

Q. You said it was in less than ten minutes after he took the medicine 
that those appearances came upon him 1 A. In two minutes and a half, or 

Q. Did your ladyship give sir Theodosius his physic upon the Monday ? 
A. No. 

Q. You was not in the habit of giving it to him 1 A. Now and then I did. 

Q. You recollect his saying it had a very nauseous taste 1 A. Yes. 

Q. And a very nauseous smell 1 A. An ugly taste and an ugly smell. 

Q. Did your ladyship ever mention, when examined before the coroner, 
this fact, that Mr. Donellan said, " I should not have known what I should 
have done, if I had not thought of saying that I did it to put my finger in to 
taste ■?" A. I did mention this before the coroner. My evidence was, he 
said, that I told him of his washing it. I asked him why he did so. He said 
he did it to put his finger in to taste. ^ - 

^0. 128 JOHx\ DONELLAN, ESQ. 

Q. I asked j'our ladyship whether you disclosed before the coroner, that 
Mr. Donellan told Mrs. Donellan, in your hearing, that if he had not thought 
of saying that he did it to put his finger in to taste, he should not have known 
what to have done. Did you mention that circumstance before the coroner ? 
A. Yes. 

Q. And swear if? A. Yes. 

Q. I believe you was examined a second time ; was it upon the first or 
second examination ? A. I am not certain. 

Q. Was your examination read over to you before you signed it? A. 

Q. I wish to ask your ladyship again whether this circumstance was dis- 
closed in your evidence ] A. I said he told me tiiat he did it to taste. 

Q. Your examination was read. There is no such thing as that contained 
in it. Did you mention the circumstance of the coachman being sent for into 
the parlour, and Mr. Donellan's asking him if he did not remember his going 
out at the iron gates at seven o'clock in the morning ] and upon the servant's an- 
swering in the aflirmative, Mr. Donellan's saying, " Will, now j'ou are my 
evidence V Was that mentioned by your ladyship before the coroner? A. 
I mentioned it to Mr. Caldicot, but whether I mentioned it before the coroner 
I cannot remember. 

Q. Tell me the analogy, if you can, between the conversation that Mr. 
Donellan had with Mrs. Donellan in your presence, and his immediately 
sending for the coachman to know if he was up at seven o'clock or no. Did 
any conversation pass that led to that? A. Not that I know. 

Q. You said something about Mr. Donellan's mare. One of the servants 
informed you that the mare was about the house. In point of fact, did not the 
servant go upon Mr. Donellan's mare to fetch Mr. Powell ? A. I was not in 
the yard to see. 

Q. Do you not know that as a fact ? A. I did not see him go. 

Q. Did you see him return ? A. No, I did not. 

Q. Yon told Mr. Howorth that Mr. Donellan put the bottle a second time 
into the hands of Sarah Blundell ; was that circumstance disclosed in your 
evidence before the coroner? A. I do not recollect. 

Q. Whether you don't know that sir Theodosius did amuse himself in lay- 
ing poison for fish ? A. Sir Theodosius did sometimes amuse himself in 
laying poison for fish. 

Q. Where was it he put those things that he used to amuse himself with ? 
A. I won't mince the matter. 

Q. Don't you know of his buying large quantities of arsenic? A. He sent 
for a pound, and after his death a quantity of arsenic was found in his 

Q. Where did he use to keep that? A. In his inner closet. 

Q. Which was sometimes locked ? A. Mostly. 

Mr. Hoicorth. You have been asked of instances of friendship shown by 
Mr. Donellan to your son : what was Mr. Donellan's general behaviour for 
some months before he died ? did he treat sir Theodosius with respect, friend- 
ship, and tenderness, or otherwise ? A. About a fortnight before my son's 
death I heard 

Court. Have you heard your son say any thing about Mr. Donellan's 
behaviour at the time when he gave you the relation mentioned by Mr. Newn- 
ham ? A. They used to have words, to be angry with each other; they did not 
in general live in friendship and intimacy. 

Air. Newnkam. It was your ladyship's house ? A. Yes. 

Q. I presume they had those sort of words that occasionally happen in all 
families, more or less ? A. I paid no great attention to it. 

Court. At the time you mentioned when you came down into the par- 
lour, Mr. and Mrs. Donellan were both there ? A. Yes. 

Q. How long had Mr. Donellan been gone out of the room where sir 


Theodosius died before you went into the parlour 1 A. Not long ; I went 
into my own room first. 

Q. After you got into the parlour, was there any conversation between you 
and the prisoner, previously to his saying you had been pleased to take notice 
of his washing the bottles 1 A. I do not recollect any, but he was talking to 
Mrs. Donellan. 

Q. Was that spoken in a passion or resentment, or how 1 A. Rather in a 
way of resentment. 

Catharine Amos sworn — Exanmied by Mr. Geast. 

Q. Did you live at Lawford Hall at the time of the death of sir Theodosius 
Boughton ■? A. Yes. 

Q. In what capacity ? A. I was cook. 

Q. Was you sent for by lady Boughton 1 A. I was sent for to my lady by 
the other maid, Sarah Blundell, who is dead ; was called up-stairs into that room 
where sir Theodosius lay. 

Q. When you came into the room, in what situation was sir Theodosius 
Boughton ] A. He did not stir hand or foot, but frothed at his mouth. I 
wiped the froth four or five times from his mouth. 

Q. Was the body motionless ? A. The stomach heaved very much, 

Q. Was there any noise ] A. He gurgled at the throat. 

Q. Give an account of any other circumstances that you observed. A. I 
did not observe any thing more. 

Q. Where did you go to from thence ? A. I went below stairs about my 
work ; my work lay below stairs. 

Q. How long afterwards was it before you saw Mr. Donellan ! A. It 
might be about a quarter of an hour. I saw him in the passage ; Mr. Donel- 
lan said, " Sir Theodosius was nut very late over-iiight a-fishing; that it was 
very silly of him, as he had been taking such physic as he had been taking 
of before time." 

Q. That is before that time ? A. Yes. 

Q. Did he give any reason why he had been out so late a-fishing ? A. No. 

Q. Did he say any thing more at that time ? A. Not to the best of my 

Q. Did you see Mr. Donellan the day that the body was opened % A. 

Q. What did Mr. Donellan say at that time ? A. He said that there was 
nothing the matter ; that it was a blood vessel had broke which had occa- 
sioned sir Theodosius' death. 

Q. Did Mr. Donellan bring any thing to you at or about the time of sir 
Theodosius' death. A. No. 

Q. At any time before his death ? A. No, nothing at all. 

Q. Did he never bring you any thing for any purpose ? A. No. 

Q. Was any thing brought to you by Mr. Donellan within a fortnight or 
three weeks before the death of sir Theodosius Boughton 1 A. No. 

Counsel for the prisoner to lady Boughton. Did sir Theodosius Boughton 
speak at all after he had taken the medicine T 

Lady Boughton. Not at all. 

Counsel to Catharine Amos. You said you was cook-maid "? A. Yes. 

Q. Was the oven under your direction ? A. Yes. 

Q. Was any thing brought to vou at any time % A. Yes, a still. 

Q. Who brought it T A. Mr. Donellan. 

Q. When was it ■? A. Some time after sir Theodosius' death. 

Q. How long after"? A. To the best of my remembrance, it might be a 

Q. What was there in it"? A. Nothing, it had been washed. He desired 
me to put it into the oven to dry it, that it might not rust ; I said, if I put it in 
there, it would unsolder it, as it was made of tin. 


The Rev. Mr. Neiusam sworn — Examiiied by Mr. Bigby. 

Q. Did you see captain Donellan at any time, and when, before the death 
of sir Theodosius Boughton 1 A. On the Saturday preceding sir Theodosius' 
death, I saw him at Lawford Hall. 

Q. Had you any conversation with him ? A. I had. 

Q. Kelate what that conversation was. A. He informed me that sir Theo- 
dosius was in a very ill state of health ; that he had never got rid of the dis- 
order that he had brought with him from Eton, but rather, in his opinion, 
had been adding to it; that he had made such frequent use of mercury, in- 
wardly and outwardly, that his blood was a mass of mercury and corruption ; 
that he had had a violent swelling in his groin, which they were endeavouring 
to bring to a head, but he was so obstinate that he would not live well enough 
to do it ; that they were'fearful it would return into his blood, for at that time 
it was at a crisis ; that he had frequent swellings in his throat, and his 
breath was so ofTensive that they could hardly sit at table to eat with him ; 
that his intellects at intervals were so much affected, that nobody knew what 
it was to live with him. My answer was, " that if that was the case, I did 
not think his life was worth two3'ears' purchase." He replied, " Not one." 
I asked him what advice he had. He told me, he was attended by 
]Mr. Powell, the apothecary of Rugby ; and that his medicines were made up 
by Mr. Powell from a prescription of Mr. Kerr's, which he had while he was 
at Mr. Jones ; that he had given him a medicinal book called the Family 
Physician, which he was very fond of consulting. 

Q. Were you well acquainted with this family ] A. Very well 

Q. Perhaps you can tell, from the appearance of sir Theodosius Boughton, 
what was the actual state of his health at this time, and for some time before ? 
A. He looked like a man to all appearance in health ; he did not look so florid 
as he had done. 

Q. Had you any reason, from his countenance, spiriis, or any thing else, to 
imag-ine him to be in a bad state of health'? A. He was in good spirits, and 
looked very well ; but did not look so florid as he had done. 

Q. Do you know upon what terms captain Donellan and sir Theodosius 
Bouo-hton lived for some time preceding the death of sir Theodosius 1 A. 
Thafl cannot speak to ; I had been absent from that country the four preced- 
ing months. 

The Rev. Mr. Kewsam, cross-examined by Mr. Green. 

Q. Sir Theodosius Boughton had been under the care of Mr. Kerr, had he 
not 1 A. I believe he had, whilst he was with Mr. Jones. 

Q. Mr. Kerr is, I understand, an eminent surgeon at Northampton ? A. Yes. 

Q. Mr. Donellan told you Mr. Powell made up his medicines by the pre- 
scription from Mr. Kerr 1 A. Yes. 

Q. Whether you had not a letter from Mr. Donellan 1 A. I had. 

Q. Have you it in your pocket? A. It is in court. 

Q. When did you receive if? A. I cannot recollect; it was one of the 
days, I believe, when the coroner's jury were sitting; when the body was 
opened, I gave it up the morning of that day. 

Mr. William Kerr sworn — Examined by Mr. Hoivorth. 

Q. You are, I understand, a surgeon, and live at Northampton 1 A. Yes. 

Q. Do you recollect having attended sir Theodosius Boughton when he 
was at Mr. Jones ] A. I do. 

Q. Was the disorder, for which you attended him at that time, completely 
cured or not? A. I really saw no disorder; there was upon the prepuce or 
glands, I do not recollect which, a small wart or excrescence, very immaterial 
indeed ; it was so slight, that I did not consider it as a subject of medicine at 
all. I ordered some lotion to wash it with, and nothing else, and dissuaded 
him from the use of medicine. 

Q. Was the state of his body such that you judged it necessary to give 


him a prescription to take medicines by ] A.. I gave him a prescription for 
the lotion, but none for internal medicines. 

Q. When he went from under your care, you considered him as by no 
means disordered 1 A. I considered him as having no venereal complaint. 
Mr. Kerr, cross-examined by Mr, Newnham, 
Q. In common parlance, is not a lotion a medicine ■? A. Certainly. 
Dr. Rattray sworn — Examined by Mr. Balguy 

Q. You are, I believe, a physician of Coventry 1 A. I am. 

Q. Do you remember, on the 4th of September last, receiving any message 
from any person, and from whom, to come to Lawford Hall 1 A. On the 4th 
of September, in the afternoon, I received an anonymous note (I mean a note 
not signed by any person), desiring me — I forget the particular phrase used — 
but it was to go to Lawford Hall, in order to open the body of sir Theodosius 
Bough ton. 

Q. Have you got that notel A. No, I did not preserve it; as it was not 
signed, I conceived it immaterial. The note imported that I was likewise to 
bring Dr. Wilmer with me, by which I understood Mr. Wilmer the surgeon. 
Mr. Wilmer happened to be out of town that afternoon. As soon as I could 
find him, and bring him back to Coventry, we set out, and went there together. 

Q. At what time in the evening was it when you went? A. I cannot say 
the exact hour; it was getting dark, and it was dark when we arrived there. 

Q. When you arrived there, did you or not find captain Donellan 1 A. . _, 

The first object I saw was captain Donellan in the passage, with a candle in 
his hand ; he was amongst the first persons in the house that received us, and 
.n the hall, 1 think. 

Q. What passed between captain Donellan and you upon your coming 
there? A. As captain Donellan lighted me into the parlour, he said, '■'•Have 
you heard from or seen sir William Wheeler V T said I had not. I believe 
he afterwards added, " 1 rather expect sir William Wheeler will be here ; or if 
he does not come, I shall hear from him." 

Q. Did he add that he expected to hear from him, or expected him to be 
there ? A. Yes, that he expected either one thing or the other. •♦ - 

Q. Did he say any thing further? A. We were asked to eat of what they ;y 

had in the house ; they had supped ; and the coffin in the mean time was ' 

ordered to be unsoldered, and we begged we might know when that was 
done. As soon as we had ate a little, they came and informed us that the 
coffin was open. 

Q. But before you went to see the corpse, after the coffin was unsoldered, 
was there or not any letter shown you by captain Donellan ? A. I saw a 
letter from sir William W^heeler, in answer, as I understood, to a message 
which captain Donellan had sent, requesting of sir William to come and see 
the body opened. 

Court. Was that letter shown you by the prisoner ? A. Yes, when I • V 

came into the hall. Mr. Powell, the apothecary, stood by a great table reading 
a letter; captain Donellan turned it up, and saw the direction was to him. 
Mr. Powell said, " by mistake he had opened it." ". . 

Q. Did you read it ? A. I read part of it ; it was that part of the letter in 
which sir William excused himself from coming to Lawford Hall, saying he 
conceived no person was proper to be there but the surgeon and physician 
sent for. No name was mentioned in particular, only surgeon and physician. %• 

Q. Did captain Donellan at that time speak of any other letter he had 
received from sir William Wheeler ? A. He searched in his waistcoat 
pocket about that time for a letter; but instead of it, pulled out a cover. By 
a slight glance I had of it, I thought the direction was sir William Wheeler's 
handwriting; but I never saw any other letter but this I have just spoken of. 

Q. Can you tell w^hether this (showing a letter to the witness) is the 


letter which captain Donellan then showed you 1 A. Yes ; here are the very 
words I mentioned, surgeon and physician, in it. I just glanced it over; it 
was late, and I wished to get over such little nnatters as these. 

Q. In consequence of having seen that letter, what did you and Mr. Wil- 
mer proceed to dol A. After some little conversation about that letter, 
captain Donellan said, "The letter was exceedingly polite; f/nit tht first 
letter he received was much the same as this.'''' Captain Donellan, at the bottom 
of the stairs, said, " Gentlemen, you will excuse ??;?," or to that effect; upon 
which we walked up-stairs. Mr. W'ilmer went in first, I believe; he came 
out of the room testifying some surprise as I entered the door ; I immediately 
entered, and saw the body for the first time. 

Q. Did you use any expressions of any sort, at the time of your seeing the 
body, to captain Donellan ] A. I went into the room, and looked at the body 
several times, and came out to Mr. Wilmer ; he seemed to think it would 
answer no purpose to open the body at that time; and as we asked captain 
Donellan "for what purpose it was to be opened," he said "it was 
for the satisfaction of the family," we thought it at so late a period, 
and it being only for that purpose, that it was of no use ; therefore we 
waived it. 

Q. Had captain Donellan said the opening it was for the satisfaction of 
the family ] A. Yes ; he told Mr. Wilmer so, and I think, when I went up, 
the same speech was repeated to me. 

Q. Did he mention any other purpose for which the body was to be opened, 
except the satisfaction of the family ] A. None to me, that I recollect. 

Q. Did he at any time intimate to you any suspicion of poison 1 A. No, 
nothing of the sort. 

Q. In consequence of this you did not in fact open the body ] A. We did 
not open the body. 

Q. How soon after this was it that you was again sent for upon this 
melancholy occasion? A. On the 9th of September; I think it was on a 
Saturday. - 

Q. Who did you receive a message from at that time? A. I really do not 
know : I received a message by some strange roundabout way, in conse- 
quence of which I went; but I don't know who sent it. Mr. Wilmer and I 
went in company. We met Mr. Bucknill, Mr. Powell of Rugby, and Mr. Snow 
of Southam : those were all the physical people, I believe. Mr. Bucknill 
opened the body. 

Q. Where did you meet at that time 1 A. In the church-yard at Newbold. 

Q. The body had there been interred 1 A, It had been in the vault at New- 
bold, as I understood. 

Q. What passed at that time ] A. We proceeded to the opening of the 
body as soon as we conveniently could, and inspected, as far as we were 
able, the appearances of the body. 

Q. What were the material appearances that struck you at that time 1 A. 
The material appearances were — in the first place, the body appeared, upon a 
general view, swollen or distended a good deal ; the face, of a round figure, 
extremely black, with the lips swelled and retracted, and showing the gums; 
the teeth black, except a small white speck on one of the fore teeth ; the 
tongue protruding beyond the fore teeth, and turning upwards towards the 
nose ; the blackness descended upon the throat, gradually diminishing as it 
got towards the breast, and the body was spotted in many parts, but not very 
material. There was another circumstance which, for decency, I have omitted, 
but, if called upon, I am ready to mention. 

Mr. Balguy. That circumstance is not at all material. I meant to ask 
you merely to such appearances as were material. Were there any appear- 
ances upon the body sufficient to cause or confirm an opinion you may by- 
and-by give upon the subject] A. We proceeded to open the body; and in 
dissecting the skin, the fat appeared in a dissolving state, a little watery : od 


getting into the cavity of the belly, the bowels in the lower belly seemed to 
put on an appearance of inflammation. I choose to make use of the vulgar term 
appearance, in order to convey a general idea of the appearance things in 
that state generally put on. 

Q. Was it so with the stomach too 1 A. Yes ; the orifices of the stomach, 
and the small arch of the stomach ; the heart, upon opening the pericardium, 
the membrane which encloses it, appeared to be in a natural state; the lungs 
appeared what I call suffused with blood, looking red, and spotted in many 
places with black specks, and on the hack part the blood had settled in a 
deep red colour, almost approaching to purple; the diaphragm was in the 
same state ; and, in general, upon the depending surfaces of the body the blood 
was settled in the like manner ; the kidneys appeared black as tinder, and 
the liver much in the same state. These, I think, are most of the appearances 
I need mention upon the present occasion. 

Q. Have you heard the evidence of Mr. Powell, the apothecary 1 A. I 

Q. And have you heard the evidence of lady Boughton ? A. I have. 

Q. Now, from the evidence of Mr. Powell and the evidence of lady Bough- 
ton, independent of appearances, for I would have you forget them for the 
present instant, what was, in your judgment, the occasion of sir Theodosius 
Boughton's death 1 A. Independent of tlie appearance of the body, I am of 
the opinion that the draught, in consequence of the symptoms which suc- 
ceeded the swallowing of it, as described by lady Boughton, was poison, 
and the immediate cause of his death. 

Q. Please to smell upon that bottle ; what, in your judgment, is the 
noxious medicine in that bottle ? A. I know the liquid ; it is a distillation 
of laurel leaves, commonly called laurel water. 

Q. You have heard Mr. Powell's account of the mixture he prepared for 
sir Theodosius Boughton ; was that mixture innocent and proper ? A. In 
my opinion, it was perfectly innocent. 

Q. You have said that, in your judgment, laurel water is contained in this 
bottle? A. Yes. 

Q. Have you made any particular experiments upon the effects of laurel 
water? A. I have, several. 

Q. You will please to relate the particular experiments you have made, 
and the appearances in consequence of those experiments, A. Mr. Wilmer 
and I made experiments together : our first experiment with laurel water 
was upon a middle-sized dog ; I held his mouth open, and there was, I be- 
lieve, nearly two ounces of laurel water poured down his throat; I held the 
dog between my knees ; in half a minute, as nearly as I can guess, he 
dropped dead to the ground, without any motion except a tremulous motion 
once or twice of the lower jaw. The next animal on which I tried the laurel 
water was, likewise in company with Mr. Wilmer, to an aged mare ; we 
gave, at repeated intervals, out of a horn, I believe, about a pint and a half 
of laurel water ; in about two minutes she was precipitated to the ground 
with her head under her, and tumbled on her back, kicking violently ; she 
afterwards lay without kicking, but seemed convulsed, her eyes rolling 
about, rearing up her head as if in agonies, gulping at her stomach as if 
something lay there exceedingly offensive to her, and that instant, and during 
the whole time she lived afterwards, heaving in the flanks in the most ex- 
traordinary manner ; and at the end of fifteen minutes she expired. After this, 
in company with Mr, Ewbank, of Coventry, I gave to a cat about a spoonful 
of laurel water, which I had myself seen distilled ; it was pale and limpid as 
pure distilled waters, and seemed very weak. The cat, though I believe she 
had not half the quantity I intended she should have taken, died in three 

Q. What quantity did you pcmr down the cat's throat? A. About a 
spoonful, about half an ounce. At Southam, the beginning of this week, I 


gave, in presence of Mr. Snow, to another aged horse about a pint of laurel 
water, distilled by Mr. Snow. Upon his receiving into his stomach the first 
horn full, which was a small one, no bigger than we used in the former ex- 
periment, he dropped to the ground. 

Cuurt. What was ihe quantity that horn held 1 A. I suppose three or 
four ounces. It was impossible to give the animal the whole of it; full half 
was spilt. I conceived it to be very strong, and desired Mr. Snow would 
give her no more at that time, in order to try the strength of it. The horse 
drop])ed; he endeavoured to raise himself up, but could rise no farther than 
by setting himself upon his buttocks like a dog : I perceived he had entirely 
lost the use of his hinder parts. We then gave him another horn full, which 
in its turn knocked him down very soon; and at intervals we gave him 
several horns full, to the amount of about a pint in the whole ; and at the end 
of twenty-eight minutes he expired, violently convulsed, groaning, his tongue 
lolling out of his mouth ; and indeed the first horse's tongue had a very ex- 
traordinary appearance, for it darted backward and forward in the manner of 
a dart, but this horse lolled his tongue out like a dog when running. In both 
the horses the artery in the neck beat much, even after the animal had ceased 
to breathe, except we call the motion of the lower jaw, a kind of gasping, 
breathincT. I saw all the bodies opened, and in all of them there was violent 
distension of the veinous system, of the whole veins in the body, the 
stomach, bowels, lungs, and so on. The veins were distended and full of 
blood, the lungs appeared red and suffused. I said before that I did not use 
the term injlanimation in any other way than to convey the vulgar idea, the 
appearance of red colour given to any part by blood. The lungs sutfused 
with blood, looking very red, and in the first horse it was the colour of a 
deep pink ; very different, I conceive, from the natural colour. 

Q. You have smelled to the bottle which has the laurel water in it; do 
you know any thing in medicine that corresponds in smell with that mixture? 
A. I do not know any medicine that smells like it. 

Q. Does the smell described by lady Boughton, something like bitter 
almonds, convey an idea of that mixture ? A. It does ; and I have given the 
laurel water to many people to smell to, and they always described the smell 
to something like bitter almonds; I do not exactly know how they expressed 
themselves, but they meant to say that. 

Q. In your judgment is the quantity that one of these bottles contains of 
laurel water sufficient to take away life from any human creature 1 A. la 
my opinion, it is. 

Q. I have now got your opinion upon the subject, independent of any 
appearances you observed upon the body of sir Theodosius Boughton. Now 
are you, from these appearances, confirmed, or otherwise, in the opinion you 
have given ] A. Confirmed in it so far as, upon the viewing a body so long 
after the death of the subject, one can be allowed to form a judgment upon 
such appearances. 

Dr. lidttray, crufis-examined by Mr. Newnham. 

Q. If I do not misunderstand you, doctor, the last account you gave in 
answer to the question, whether you are confirmed in this opinion by the 
appearances, you said yes, so far as you might be allowed to form an 
opinion, viewing the body so long after the death of the subject ] A. Yes, 
so far as we may be allowed to form a judgment upon appearances so long 
after death. 

Q. By your putting it in that way, do you or do you not mean to say that 
all judgment upon such a subject, in such a case, is unfounded ] A. I cannot 
say that, because from the analogy between the appearances in that body 
and those distinguishable in animals killed by the poison I have just men- 
tioned, I think them so much alike, that I am rather confirmed in my opinion 
with respect to the operation of the draught. 


Q. Those bodies were instantaneously opened 1 A. Yes, so much so that 
there was the peristaltic motion of the bowels upon their being pricked. 

Q. This was upon the eleventh day after sir Theodosius' death 1 A. Yes. 

Q. What was the appearance of the body when you first went to Lawford 
Hall ■? A. At the first time I saw the body, what I did see of it, the face, 
was in the condition I have described, with a maggot crawling over its 
surface : it was black, as I have described ; it was quite in the same state ; in 
short, I saw no difference the last day, excepting the maggot was not upon it 

Q. Were you or not offended by a violent stench as you approached the 
dead body ? A. We were. 

Q. Had not putrefaction considerably taken place ? A. I believe it had. 

Q. Did Mr. Wilmer observe the same appearances with you] A. Yes, 1 
believe so ; I have no reason to doubt it. 

Q. What was your reason at that time for not opening the body ? A. I 
have just said, the body seemed to us to be in such a very disagreeable state 
that we did not like to enter into the investigation of it, not knowing that 
any particular purpose was to be answered by it, except the satisfaction of 
the family. 

Q. At that time, were not you and Mr. Wilmer sent for, for the purpose of 
opening the body ] A. Yes ; it was so expressed in the notes. 

Q. Was not your reason at that time — whether you were erroneous in your 
judgment or not, is another thing — but was not your reason for declining 
opening the body, that you conceived the opening it could answer no useful 
purpose ■? A. At that time we were of that opinion. 

Q. When you went back from Lawford Hall to Coventry, was you or 
not desired, or did you and Mr. Wilmer undertake, to apprize sir William 
Wheeler of this fact 1 A. I did not undertake it; I believe captain Donellan 
said to me, at going out of the door, " Shall you see sir William Wheeler'?" 
or words to that etiect. I said I believed not, I did not think I should, for I 
had an engagement upon my hands the next day following, which I must 
necessarily attend. It was to go to Brookswell, and I stayed all night from 
home ; so I could not go, and I did not understand from the letter that it was 
incumbent upon me, in point of politeness, to wait upon sir William Wheeler. 

Q. Mr. Wilmer's name was mentioned ] A. " Surgeon and physician" 
were mentioned, but no name. 

Q. Was Mr. Wilmer present at that time 1 A. We were going out at the 
door on our return home. 

Q. Was any thing said to Mr. Wilmer in your presence 1 A. Not that I 
know, or at present recollect. 

Q. When was it you did see sir William Wheeler 1 A. On the 4th of 
September we went, and returned without opening the body : the next day, 
the 5th, I was particularly engaged, as I before said; when I returned home 
on the morning of the 6th, I was told that captain Donellan's servant had 
been in quest of me and IMr. Wilmer; afterwards I saw a letter from captain 
Donellan, "desiring either me or Mr. Wilmer, or both of us, to go to sir 
William Wheeler, and inform him of the circumstance that happened at Law- 
ford Hall on the night of the 4th." 

Court. When was it you saw that letter 1 A. On the 6th; and it was on 
the 6th I saw sir William Wheeler at the Black Dog; at least, there was but 
one intervening day, and I think it was the 6th. 

Q. The next time you saw the body was on the 9th of September, which 
was the eleventh day after the death"? A. I think so 

Q. Does not putrefaction increase very much in the space of five or six 
days in a hot summer ? A. I should think it must certainly increase. 

Q. Was not the body in a very high state of putrefaction when you saw 
it? A. Upon the shroud being removed, the body appeared to me much 


fairer than I expected ; I expected to have seen it in a very black putrefied 
state, but the external appearance was not quite so highly so as I expected. 

Q. You mentioned that the body was much swelled ] A. It was swelled. 

Q. Appearing upon a gangrene, I suppose ] A. It rather put on the ap- 
pearance of gangrene. 

Q. I understand you have set your name to a description of certain appear- 
ances that met your eye when you examined the body ; I mean your exami- 
nation ] A. I have, undoubtedly. 

Q. Did you, or did you not, concur with Mr. Wilmer as to the appearances 
of the body] A. In general we did. 

Q. You set your name to that examination 1 A. I did not set my name to 
any thing but my own examination. 

Q. Wherein the appearances are particularly described 1 A. They are 
not particularly described; there is something said about the stomach and 

Q. For what purpose then did you attend there ? A. I did not know that 
it was necessary before a coroner's jury to enter into the particulars ; I was 
quite a novice in the business. 

Q. Do you mean a novice in the mode of dissection? A. No, in the busi- 
ness before a coroner. 

Q. Did the account you set your name to contain a true description of the 
appearances that met your eye upon that occasion ] A. So far as they went, 
it did. 

Q. Did you ever hear or know of any poison whatever occasioning any 
immediate external appearance on the human body l A. No, no immediate 
external appearances in the case of vegetable poisons, except what I have 
heard ; but they have not fallen under my own knowledge. 

Q. So far for the external appearance. Now, I shall be glad to know 
whether all the appearances you speak of in the face, the protuberance of the 
tongue, and the lips being swelled and retracted, whether those are not all 
signs of putreiaction ] A. I really don't know that they are. 

Q. I do not mean to give you any offence ; but I beg leave ^;o ask, whether 
you have been much used to anatomical dissection ? A. I have been as far 
as persons not particularly intended for anatomical pursuits. I am not a pro- 
fessor of anatomy. 

Q. Did you ever attend the dissection of a human body that was poisoned, 
or that was supposed to have been poisoned 1 A. Never. 

Q. From the external appearances of the diff'erent parts of the body, you 
draw no kind of conclusion or inference, and form no opinion. A. No, I 
don't form any strong opinion from them 

Q. How were the appearances when the cavity of the abdomen was open- 
ed ? A. I have described them in general. 

s Q. Not being an anatomical man, it has slipped my memory; will you 
please to repeat it 1 A. I believe I did not before mention the omentum, or 
caul, that was suff'used with blood of a brownish red ; the stomach and bowels 
appeared in general red, which is vulgarly called an inflammation. 

Q. Might that not be owing to a transfusion of blood ? 

Dr. Rattray. From what cause 1 

Mr. Newnham. From putrefaction. *- 

Dr. Rattray. Do you, by a transfusion of the blood, mean the passage of 
the blood from the arteries into the veins 

Mr. New7iham. Yes. 

Dr. Rattray. I cannot think it could arise from putrefaction. 

Q. That is your opinion ? A. It is. 

Q. Did you look at the stomach"? A. Yes. 
■ Q. As sir Theodosius Boughton is represented to have died in a few mi- 
nutes after taking this medicine, did you, with correctness and attention, 
examine the stomach ? A. The contents of the stomach were about a spoon- 


ful and a half, or a couple of ounces of a slimy reddish liquor, which I rubbed 
between my finger and thumb, and it contained no gritty substance that I 
could perceive. 

Q. Is it not usual to find some such quantity of liquor in the stomach ] A. 
The stomach after death must contain something, more or less, according to 
different circumstances. 

Q. You said the stomach, and the orifice of it, and the small arch of it, 
bore the appearance of inflammation ; pray, is not inflammation and appear- 
ance of inflammation much the same thing ? A. All that I have to say upon 
the present business is, I perhaps don't know the cause of inflammation; but 
there is an appearance of inflammation upon the stomach and bowels, owing 
to an injection of blood into the veinous system ; the veins, being full of blood, 
put on a red appearance. 

Q. If you will not take upon you to say what is the cause, what are the 
signs of inflammation 1 A. An appearance of redness sometimes, not always 
attended with pain, and sometimes throbbing. 

Q. Did you pursue your search through the bowels l A. No, I cannot 
say I did, nor did I think it in my power. 

Q. How far did you pursue your search in the stomach 1 A. We examin- 
ed the contents of the stomach ; we took the stomach out, but in taking it 
out, a great part of the contents issued out of the bowels next to it; and the 
smell was so offensive, I did not choose to enter into that matter. 

Q. Whether a pursuit or inquiry, from an inspection through the bowels, 
was not as likely to have led to a discovery of the cause of the death as any 
other part of the body which you did examine ? A. I do not believe a pur- 
suit through the whole extent of the bowels could have led to any discovery 
in these circumstances. 

Q. Are not the bowels the seat of poison 1 A. When it passes in there, 
it no doubt affects the bowels. 

Q. Then why did you not examine into the contents of the bowels'? A. I 
did not think it in the power of any one to examine into the contents of the 
bowels, their contents being so strong and disagreeable. 

Q. Whether you do not form your judgment upon the appearances? A. 
Not altogether ; they corroborate my opinion upon the effect of the draught. 

Q. Did you or did you not know the contents of the draught Mr. Powell 
had prepared when you was examined before the coroner ? A. Yes, I did. 

Q. And you knew, from the account given you, how long sir Theodosius 
Boughton lived after he took that draught? A. I took my information from 
lady Boughton. 

Q. Then, whether many reasons have not occurred, subsequent to that time, 
considerably to induce you to form your judgment that he died of arsenic? 
A. Not subsequent to that time ; at that time I did think he died of arsenic, 
but I am now clear that I was then mistaken. 

Q. Why may you not be mistaken now ? A. I cannot conceive that, in 
these circumstances, any one can be mistaken as to the medicine; from the 
sensible qualities described by lady Boughton, I believe it to be of that 

Q. Did not you know at that time the symptoms described by lady Bough- 
ton ? A. I did. 

Q. Then was not your judgment at that time as ripe for information as it 
is now? A. It is now since 1 have received the information. 

Q. Whether you did not, after you heard lady Boughton describe the symp- 
toms, and after you saw the body opened, give it as your opinion that he 
died of arsenic? A. I have had such an opinion. 

Q. And have declared so ? A. I did. 

Q. Was there or was there not a large quantity of extravasated blood iu 
the throat? A. On each side of the lungs there were. 
M 2 13 


Q. About what quantity ■? A. I think not quite a pint on each side the 
right and left lobe of the lungs. 

Q. Would not the rupture of a blood vessel occasion death? A. The rup- 
ture of a blood vessel would undoubtedly have occasioned death, but it would 
not in my apprehension have been attended with the same appearances. 

Q. Might not a blood vessel, in an effort to reach, be broken 1 A.I should 
conceive, that if, in an effort to reach, a blood vessel of that magnitude had 
been ruptured, he must have died immediately without convulsions. 

Q. But supposing a person recovering from convulsions, for he is stated to 
be inclined to sleep 1 A. It is a case I am not supposing probable. 

Q. Is it possible] A. Every thing is possible under God. 

Q. Did you never hear of any person dying of an epilepsy or of an apo- 
plexy with symptoms like those, being in convulsions 1 A. I do not think 
the symptoms described as having taken place in sir Theodosius Boughton 
are like to an epilepsy. 

Q. Nor an apoplexy 1 A. They were entirely, in my opinion, the effects of 
the draught. 

Q. Might not an apoplexy or an epilepsy be accompanied with those symp- 
toms 1 A. I never saw either of them attended with a heaving at the sto- 

Q. When respiration grows feeble, is it not a common case that the mus- 
cles of the throat are very much relaxed 1 A. All the effects that succeeded 
the draught, I believe, were the consequences of it ; and if the muscles were 
relaxed, or foam proceeded from the mouth, they were in consequence of it. 

Q. Is it not commonly the case with persons who die of almost every dis- 
order ■? A. Very often. 

Q. Are not the muscles of the throat instrumental in respiration 1 A. So 
far as to the passage of the air in and out. 

Q. Is it not a very common appearance a few minutes before death, when 
respiration grows feeble, for froth to issue from the mouth ] A. No, not com- 
monly ; I have seen it in epilepsies. 

Q What was your reason for supposing at one time that the deceased died 
of arsenic 1 A. Every man is mistaken now and then in his opinion, and that 
was my case ; I am not ashamed to own a mistake. 

Q. Have you been very nice in your experiments ; for instance, in the con- 
veying the laurel water into the animals 1 A. If there was any want of nicety, 
the subject had less of it than I intended. 

Q. When an animal, suppose a dog or cat, is striving to refuse a draught you 
are forcing into its mouth, whether it is not common for some part of the liquor 
to get into the lungs'? A. If it did, it would make them cough, but be at- 
tended with no bad consequences, unless it was poison. 

Q. Did you ever convey any poison immediately into the stomach? 

I)r. Rattray. Do you mean by perforation through the ribs ? 

Mr. Newnham. Yes. 

Dr. Rattray. I never have. 

Q. Did you never convey any into the veins of an animal ? A. I neve^have. 

Q. Did you observe or smell that liquor which came out of the stomach ? 
A. I could not avoid smelling it. 

Q. Had it the same offensive smell ? A. It in general had ; one could not 
expect any smell, but partaking of that general putrefaction of the body ; but 
1 had a particular taste in my mouth at that time, a kind of biting acrimony 
upon my tongue. And I have, in all the experimentsi have made with laurel 
water, always had the same taste from breathing over the water, a biting upon 
my tongue, and sometimes a bitter taste upon the upper part of the fauces. 

Q. Did you impute it to that cause then ? A. No, I imputed it to the vola- 
tile salts escaping the body. 

Q. Were not the volatile salts likely to occasion that ? A. No, I complained 
to Mr. Wilmer, " I have a very odd taste in my mouth, my gums bleed." 


Q. You attributed it to the volatility of the salts 1 A. At that time I could 
not account for it ; but in my experiments afterwards with the laurel water, 
the effluvia of it has constantly and uniformly produced the same kind of 
taste ; there is a volatile oil in it, I am confident. 

Q. Do not you understand that there cannot be any information at all ob- 
tained in consequenceof dissecting animals which have been destroyed by 
laurel water 1 A. I do not think that the operation of these sort of substances 
upon the inside of the stomach produce any violent appearances of redness ; 
but in most of the animals I have seen, there have been small red spots inside, 
of the size of a shilling perhaps; but the effect in the trials I have made has 
been a driving the blood from the part of the body where it should be. I be- 
lieve the effect of the poison is to empty the arteries in general, and push the 
blood into the veins ; that is my opinion at present, so far as I have gone into 
the matter. 

Q. But you was mistaken at first, relative to forming an opinion that the 
death was occasioned by arsenic 1 A. Yes. 

Mr. Balguy. You say, that when the shroud came to be taken off the body, 
you found the body less offensive than you had expected ■? A. Less black. 

Q. When you first saw the body on the 4th of September, did you or not 
take the shroud off? A. We did not. 

Q. You saw nothing but the face ] A. Nothing but the face. 

Q. If, at that time, captain Donellan had insinuated to you any suspicion 
of poison, whether you would or not have taken the shroud from the body ? 
A. I verily believe, had I known the tendency of the inquiry, I should have 
sat there for a month, rather than have left the body unopened. 

Q. Should you at that time, if the suspicion had been disclosed, have pro- 
ceeded to open the body "? A.I should have attended the opening of it. 

Mr. Keionham. I understand you to say, that when the body was opened, 
the external appearances did not contribute, in any way, to your forming a 
judgment one way or other? A. Nobody would attempt to form a judgment 
upon the external appearances altogether. 

Mr. Bradford Wilmer sworn — Examined by Mr. Wheeler. 

Q. You was sent for to Lawford Hall at the same time Dr. Rattray was ? 
A. I was ; I went there with Dr. Rattray. 

Q. When first you came there, did you see captain Donellan ] A. I did. 
He desired us to walk into the parlour : after we had some refreshment, we 
were told that the coffin was unsoldered, and we were desired to walk up- 

Q. Was any thing said to you at that time as to the means by which sir 
Theodosius Boughton had died ] A. Not the least in the world. 

Q. Nothing said of poison] A. I never heard a word of poison. 

Q. When you did go up-stairs, what part did you see of the corpse ? A. 
Only the face. 

Q. We have learned from Dr. Rattray that you did not proceed any farther ; 
how happened that? A. The body was so extremely putrid, that I declared 
my opinion to Dr. Rattray that the proposed inquiry could give no sort of 

Q. Supposing it had been communicated toyou that sir Theodosius Bough- 
ton had died by poison, should you have been satisfied without opening it % 
A. I should then have opened the body at all events. 

Q,. You did not then open the body ? A. I certainly did not. 

Q. You afterwards did open it, at the time Dr. Rattray has spoken of? A. 
I was present at the opening of the body by Mr. Bucknill. 

Q. Have you been employed in any experiments with Dr. Rattray 1 A. I 

Q. Without going into every particular of Dr. Rattray's account, do you 


and he concur in general as to the effect of that medicine 1 A.I wish you 
would be more particular in that question. 

Q. Do you agree with Dr. Rattray in what he has said respecting those 
experiments at which you was present ] A. I do in general ; but as Dr. 
Rattray has not described the appearances which were visible upon the dissec- 
tion of the horse, with your lordship's permission, 1 will read my minutes. 
" On the 20th of March, one ounce of laurel water was given to a young grey- 
hound ; while Dr. Rattray held the dog's mouth open, I poured the water 
into the dog's throat ; as soon as it was swallowed, the doctor released its 
head, to observe the effect of the poison ; when, to our great surprise, he fell 
down upon his side, and without the least struggle or any perceptible motion 
(except wliat the doctor has explained about the dropping of the lower jaw) 
expired. On the 2-2d of March, in the presence of sir William Wheeler, a 
pint and a quarter of laurel water was given to a mare aged twenty-eight 
years. Within a minute from the time it was swallowed, she seemed affected ; 
her flanks were observed to heave much, and a trembling seized her limbs ; 
in two minutes she suddenly fell down upon her head, and a short time after 
was very violently convulsed ; the convulsions continued about five minutes ; 
at the expiration of which time, she lay still, but her breathing was very 
quick and laborious, and her eyes much affected with spasms. At this time, 
four ounces more of the water were given her ; after which she seemed much 
weaker, but without any more return of convulsions; and in about fifteen 
minutes from the time of her first seizure, she expired. 

Q. After her first convulsion was she quieter 1 A. She was: "Upon 
opening the abdomen, a strong smell of laurel water was perceptible; the 
colon, one of the large intestines, was not altered from its usual appearance, 
but the small intestines appeared of a purple colour, and the veins were much 
distended with blood ; the stomach contained some hay mixed with laurel 
water ; its internal surface was not inflamed, except in a small degree near 
the lower orifice of the stomach ; the lungs appeared remarkably full of blood ; 
the small vessels upon their surface being as visible as if they had been 
injected with red wax." 

Q. Whether you in general concur in sentiments with Dr. Rattray as to 
the effect of laurel water? 

Mr. JVilmer. Do you mean upon the human body, or upon brutes 1 

Mr. TVheelcr. Upon both. A. It has in four instances been fatal in the 
human ])ody ; I do not know it of my own knowledge, but from my reading. 

Q. Have you any doubt of its being fatal ] A. Not the least in the world. 

Q. How do you apprehend the quantity contained in that bottle is suffi- 
cient to take away life ] A. I imagine one bottle of that size, full of laurel 
water, would be sufficient to kill, in half an hour's time, any man in this court. 

Mr. Bradford JVilmer, cross-examined by Mr. Green. 

Q. Were there any symptoms in this case peculiarly different from the 
symptoms attending a case of apoplexy or epilepsy ? A. The appearance of 
the body in the putrid state in which it was when I had the opportunity of 
observing it, could give no information to form an opinion upon respecting 
the cause of the death. 

Q. Have you had any opportunities in your own experience of observing 
epilepsies ? A. I have; they are either of two kinds, primary or symptom- 
atic. It happens sometimes, that without the least previous notice, a man in the 
the most perfect state of health, as Suetonius says of Julius Ca?sar, may in a 
moment be seized with the epilepsy, his senses will leave him, he will fall 
down, be convulsed, foam at the mouth, his tongue will be black, and he 
either may die or recover. As to the symptomatic epilepsy, I can speak 
from experience : a patient of mine had a vie. lent pain and tumour in his 
finger; as soon' as the pain, which gradually went up his arm, reached his 
armpit, he fell down epileptic and convulsed. liut if, previous to an epilepsy, 


the patient heave very much at the stomach, and show signs of sickness, I 
should conclude the cause of that epilepsy was in the stomach. 

Q. Epilepsies proceed from various causes? A. Numerous causes. 

Q. Will not the loss of blood occasion an epilepsy ? A. I believe not. 

Q. What quantity of blood was there in the stomach 1 A. I did not mea- 
sure it ; I concluded about two pints ; it lodged in the cavity of the thorax. 

Q. Might not that occasion convulsions ] A. I do not know ; but if I 
might be allowed to reason from analogy, I should conclude it would, for in 
all slaughtered animals, when the blood runs out from them in a full stream, 
they lie quiet, but they never die without convulsions. The loss of blood 
will evidently occasion convulsions. 

Q. You was there upon the 4th and the 9th of September ; did you find 
any reluctance or unwillingness on the part of the prisoner to the body's 
being opened ? A. Not the least in the world. 

Q. Did he not seem rather desirous of having it opened ] A. I believe it 
was at his own request that a man was sent for to unsolder the coffin. 

Q. Was the person sent for to unsolder the coffin before you came 1 A. 
He was sent for after we were at the house. 

Q. Did the prisoner send for him ] A. I think he sent for him. 

Q. W^as that the first or second time of your being there 1 A. At the first 
time, when I declined opening the body, not having had the least information 
from any part of the family that poison was suspected to have been adminis- 
tered to the deceased. 

Q. That was on the 4th ? A. It was. 

Q. Was any thing said about your going to sir William Wheeler the next 
day ■? A. I heard a conversation between the prisoner and Dr. Rattray ; I 
cannot, at this distance of time, speak accurately to matters which appeared 
then to me trifling; I believe he asked Dr. Rattray "whether he should see 
sir William Wheeler 1" I think Dr. Rattray said, " He believed he shoiifd, 
and would give him an account of the business." 

Q. Was you desired to go over to sir William Wheeler's next day ? A. 
I was not desired to go over. 

Q. Did you say that you should go over! A. Not that I recollect, though 
I may be mistaken. 

3Ir. Wheeler. From the appearances of the body, and after the evidence 
you have heard given, both by lady Boughton and the other witnesses, what 
do you attribute this gentleman's death to ] A. After having heard lady 
Boughton's evidence, and therefore being acquainted with the symptoms 
which preceded the death of sir Theodosius Boughton, I am clearly of an 
opinion that his death was occasioned by a poisonous draught, administered 
to him by lady Boughton on the morning of his death. 

Court. Is the heaving in the stomach or the belly a circumstance which 
attends an epilepsy ? A. It is not. 

Dr. Ashe sworn — Examined by Mr. Geast. 

Q. You are a physician, and live at Birmingham 1 A. Yes. 

Q. You have heard the evidence that has been given ? A. I have. 

Q. W'hat, in your judgment, was the cause of the death of sir Theodosius 
Boughton ■? A. I think he died in consequence of taking that draught, after 
the taking of which he was seized in so extraordinary a manner. 

Q. Mention the particular reasons you have for thinking so. A. It does 
not appear from any part of the evidence that has been this day given, that 
the late sir Theodosius had any disease upon him of a nature either likely or 
in a degree sufficient to produce those violent consequences which happened 
to him; neither do I know in nature any medicine, properly so called, which, 
administered in any dose, and in any form, could properly produce the same 
eflfects. I know nothing but a poison spreading in its operation that could 
be attended with such terrible consequences. As to the appearances of the 


body upon dissection, they were certainly, as far as could be collected at that 
distant period from the time of the death, and in such hot weather, similar 
to those appearances which are found in the bodies of animals that are killed 
by poisons collected from vegetable substances, not from animal ones. 

Q. Will you please to look at that phial. A. The vehicle of it is laurel water. 

Q. Would that quantity be sufficient to cause death] A. I do not know 
how this is distilled, or how strong it may be, but I know it may be made in 
this quantity to destroy animal life in a few seconds. I do not know who 
distilled this, but I have made it frequently myself, and in such a degree 
of strength as to destroy animal life in a few seconds : if it is distilled 
enough to collect the essential oil, a tea spoonful of it would destroy animal 
life in a few seconds. 

Court. If it was made on purpose? A. Certainly ; I dare say as strong a 
poison might be made from bitter almonds as that. 

Q. Do you or not, from the evidence you have heard, believe sir Theodo- 
sius Boughton died of poison ? A. 1 do. 

Court. You are not to give your opinion from the evidence in general, but 
upon the symptoms those witnesses have described. A. By the symptoms 
those evidence have described, I am of opinion that sir Theodosius Boughton 
died of poison. 

Dr. Parsons sworn — Exam hied hi/ Mr, Howortk. 

Q. You are, I believe, professor of anatomy in the University of Oxford f 
A. I am. 

Q. You have heard the symptoms attending the death of sir Theodosius 
Boughton described by the witnesses produced to-day ? A. I have. 

Q. What, in your judgment, occasioned the death of sir Theodosius 
Boughton? A. From the description of the state of the young baronet's 
health previous to his taking the second dose, which was supposed to be 
similar to that which he had taken two or three days before, and from the 
violent nervous symptoms that immediately followed the taking thereof, it is 
my opinion that he died in consequence of taking the second dose; which, 
instead of being a composition of jalap and rhubarb only, proved to contain 
a poison ; and of what nature that poison was appears sufficiently from the 
description lady Boughton gives of its smell : when she poured it out in order 
to give it to her son, her ladyship said it smelt like the taste of bitter almonds, 
which particularly characterizes the smell of laurel water. Perhaps it may 
not be improper to produce some laurel water for the jury^ to smell at, that 
they^ may judge how well it agrees with the description that lady Boughton 
has given of tlie supposed physic. The violent nervous symptoms that came 
on subsequent to his taking the second dose, took place so soon, and were 
so different from what attended the taking of the first, that undoubtedly they 
were caused by something it had in it very different from the contents of the 
first, much more active, and, as it proved, more deleterious. Jalap sometimes 
disagrees with the stomach, and may produce sickness; but with respect 
to sir Theodosius Boughton, this medicine did not create any sickness when 
given the first time. 

Court. Could all the ingredients in the medicine mentioned by Mr. Powell 
produce, in sir Theodosius Boughton, the effects described ? A. No, I ap- 
prehend they could not ; and as a proof of it, they did not produce any such 
effects in the first instance or dose. 

Q. Are the symptoms which have been described by lady Boughton such 
as would attend an epilepsy, or is there any and what difference 1 A. The 
epilepsy is distinguished by a total abolition of sense, but an increase of 
motion in several of the muscles, so that the patient will appear much con- 
vulsed, and seems to hear and see every thing that is said and done, and to 
observe whatever is passing ; yet when the fit goes off, he has no knowledge 
or recollection of what has happened. Apoplexy is a sudden privation of all 


the powers of sense and voluntary motion, the person affected seeming to be 
in a profound sleep, accompanied with considerable noise in breathing-. As 
so little, therefore, is said of convulsions, as a part of sir Theodosius' symp- 
toms, the state in which he lay seems to have been more of the apoplectic kind 
than the epileptic. 

Q. It has been described by lady Boughton, that soon after taking this 
draught the stomach heaved very much, and a noise could be perceived as 
issuing from it ; now is that, in your judgment, to be attributed to either 
epilepsy or apoplexy, or the effect of the medicine ? A. The effects of the 
medicine, I think, undoubtedly, not spontaneous epilepsy or apoplexy; it is 
very immaterial whether you call the symptoms epileptic or apoplectic, for 
whichever they resembled most, I consider them but as symptomatic. 

Q. Was the heaving of the stomach the effect of apoplexy, or epilepsy, 
or of this draught? A. No doubt, I think, the draught was the cause, espe- 
cially as laurel water, which the draught seems to have contained from its 
peculiar smell, will produce similar effects. 

Q. Then your judgment is, that the fatal effects were produced by the 
medicine thus taken "? A. I think there can be no doubt of that, as they 
commenced almost as soon as he swallowed the draught; and a mixture, 
such as he is supposed to have taken, is known to have the power of pro- 
ducing them. 

Q. And from your knowledge of the effects produced by laurel water, your 
opinion is, that laurel water was the poison thus administered to sir Theodo- 
sius Boughton ■? A. It is. Dr. Rutty relates a case " of a girl of eighteen 
years of age, and in perfect health, who took a quantity less than two spoon- 
fuls of the first runnings of simple water of laurel leaves, whereupon in half 
a minute she fell down, was convulsed, foamed at the mouth, and died in a 
short time." 

Q. Could those effects be produced, speak from your own judgment, by 
laurel water ? A. I have no doubt of it. Dogs, and other quadrupeds, as 
we are informed, that take it, fall immediately into totterings and convulsions 
of the limbs, which are presently followed by a total paralysis ; these con- 
vulsions, with some additional circumstances, as foaming at the mouth, and 
loss of sense, constitute the epilepsy which is described among the effects 
of vegetable poisons. 

Dr. Parsons, cross-examined hy Mr. Newnham, 

Q. From the appearances of health in sir Theodosius Boughton, and from 
the medicine not having occasioned any bad symptoms before, you conclude 
his death was occasioned by some other medicine substituted instead of that, 
or in addition to if? A. Most certainly, especially as the smell of it bespoke 
its having received the addition of a very poisonous ingredient. 

Q. Have you ever known instances of persons being taken sudden when 
engaged in pleasure, or business, or at dinner, and dying convulsed, epileptic 
or apoplectic 1 A. I have ; but those who die sudde°ily of apoplexy are 
generally persons of a full habit, and who are neither so thin or so young as 
sir Theodosius Boughton. 

Q. Have you never known instances of persons of a thin habit being at- 
tacked by apoplexy or epilepsy ? A. By epilepsy they may. 

Q. Have you never heard of a person having the appearance of perfect 
health being seized with an epilepsy without any primary cause giving any 
warning; have you never heard of people in perfect health being seized with 
an epilepsy or apoplexy? A. Yes, apoplexy proceeding from repletion or 
the sudden bursting of a blood vessel ; epilepsy may proceed from a variety 
of causes, partial or general, in the head or elsewhere ; but very seldom, I 
believe, proves so suddenly fatal. 

Q. Might not those have happened to sir Theodosius Boughton ? A 
There can be no doubt of the possibility of their attacking him ;°but I think 


there is no reason to go so far for a cause as to possibility, when this medi- 
cine, as all the world knows, will effect it. 

Q. That is assumino-, as a fact, that he took two ounces of laurel water 1 
A. A much less quantity would be sufficient for the purpose, if we may credit 
Dr. Rutty's account. 

Q. You collect that from the similarity of smelU A. We have nothing 
else to judge from but the similarity of smell. 

Q, Is not that the case with a variety of things ; will not black cherry 
water have that smell 1 A. Black cherry water is said to have the same 
smell ; but it is now out of use. 1 don't suppose there is an apothecary in 
the island who has it; and, therefore, it could not be substituted by accident 
for the other vehicle. 

Q. Will not bitter almonds have that smell ? A. Yes, and spirits flavoured 
with them are said to be poisonous to the human species. 

Q. You ground your opinion upon the description of its smell by lady 
Boughton ? A. Yes ; we can ground our opinion upon nothing else but that, 
and the subsequent effects. 

Mr. Samuel BuchiUl siuorn — Exam'med by Mr. Balguy, 

Q. I believe you are a surgeon 1 A. I profess surgery. 

C. Where do you live ? A. At Rugby. 

Q. Do you remember going at any time to Lawford Hall, and seeing cap- 
tain Donellan 1 A. Yes. 

Q. When was it ? A. On the Tuesday, the morning after Dr. Rattray and 
Mr. Wilmer had been there to look at the body. 

Q. \Vas you sent for, or did you go of your own accord ? A. I was not 
sent for ; I went of my own accord. 

Q. Did you see captain Donellan at that time? A. I did. 

Q. What conversation passed between you and captain Donellan. A. I 
cannot recollect every word that passed ; but I told Mr. Donellan, " I had 
heard that Dr. Rattray and Mr. Wilmer had been there ; that I was informed 
he and the rest of the family wanted the body of sir Theodosius Boughton 
to be opened ; that I heard they declined opening it on account of the putrid 
state it was in ; but if it would be any satisfaction to the family, I would, at 
all events, take out the stomach." 

Q. Was you permitted to take out the stomach, or to act at all in the af- 
fair ] A. No, I was not. 

Q. Why was you not permitted ] A. Mr. Donellan's reason which he 
gave was, "that Dr. Rattray and Mr. Wilmer had been there, and had de- 
clined opening the body ; and it would not be fair in him or us to do any 
thino-, after men so eminent in their profession had declined it" (as he ex- 
pressed himself) ; had said it was impossible. 

Q. Did any thing else pass between captain Donellan and you ? A. I 
went away in consequence of that answer. 

Q. Did you go there a second time ? A. I went there the second time on 
the next day (Wednesday). 

Q. Was that the day on which sir Theodosius Boughton was buried ? A. 
It was. 

Q. Did you go at that time by any appointment, or to meet any person ? 
A. I received a verbal message from sir William Wheeler to go to Lawford 
Hall, to meet Mr. Snow; and Mr. Snow and I together were to open the 

Q. Did you, in consequence of that message, go to Lawford Hall that day ? 
A. I did. 

Q. At what time of day did you get there 1 A. 1 believe it was about 
two o'clock. 

Q. Did you see captain Donellan at that time ? A. I did. 

Q, What passed then ? A. I saw captain Donellan in the hall ; I asked 


him if Mr. Snow was come. He said he was not come. I said, " Pray, sir, 
have you received any message or letter from sir "William Wheeler V He said 
he had. I told him I had received a verbal message from sir William Wheel- 
er, to meet INIr. Snow there ; and we were to get sir Theodosius Boughton's 
body into the garden, or any convenient place we thought proper, and to 
open it. Captain Donellan said, that he had written to sir William Wheeler, 
and likewise to Coventry, to the gentlemen of the faculty there; and he then 
waited sir William Wheeler's further orders. 

Q. Was you at that time permitted to open the body ? A. I wanted to 
attend a patient who was very ill, about two miles from Lawford Hall ; I 
took my horse, and within ten yards of the gates, I met a stranger riding a 
great pace, who desired I would come to see that patient I was then going to 
see, for he thought she was dying. I left word, before I went, that 1 should 
be back again ; I believe I mentioned the time, that it might be an hour and 
an half, I imagined. 

Q. Who did you leave word with T A. I spoke it openly in the hall ; 
there were a great many people there ; the bearers were ready. 

Q. Do you know whether captain Donellan was there ? A. He was ; I don't 
know whether he heard me speak those words, but I rather believe he did. 

Q. Did you return at the time you promised ? A. I had not rode above a 
mile from Lawford Hall, when I heard a person calling after me, who was 
upon a full gallop ; he told me Mr. Snow was come. I dare say I could not 
have been gone three minutes before Mr. Snow came. I told the person I 
Avould be back in an hour ; but could not return back then, as I had received 
a message from a patient, who, in all probability, was dying. 

Q. Did you come back in an hour 1 A. I came back, 1 believe, in the hour. 

Q. What passed then; was Mr. Snow there? A. I asked captain Donel- 
lan if Mr. Snow was gone. He said " he ivas, and he had given them orders 
what to do, and they were proceeding according to those orders ; but," says 
he, " I am sorry you should have given yourself all this unnecessary trouble." 
I took my horse, and rode away as fast as I could. 

William Frost sworn — Examined by Mr. Dighy. 

Q. Did you live in the service of lady Boughton at the time of sir Theo- 
dosius Boughton's death ? A. Yes, as coachman. 

Q. On the day of sir Theodosius Boughton's death, did any thing pass 
between you and captain Donellan, and what ? A. I will tell you as near as 
possibly I can. The morning that sir The died, the captain and my lady 
were to go to the Wells to drink the water ; they ordered me to get the horses 
ready. I got them ready near about seven o'clock in the morning ; I took 
them to the gate. Captain Donellan came out to the gate, and felt the horse 
girths; he said, '■'■ ./Ire they fast, William?'''' I said, " they are." He said, 
" I will go and see if my lady is ready. ''^ He came back and said, " My lady 
is not ready yet ; I will take my mare and go to the Wells." I took the horses 
in. When I had been in the stable a considerable time, lady Boughton came, 
and called, " William." I said, " My lady." She said, " You must go for 
Mr. Powell, and fetch him as fast as possible; my son is dangerously ill." 
I said there was none but her horse in the stable. She said that would not 
go fast enough ; I must get the mare. I told her that captain Donellan had 
the mare. She bid me go and meet him, and take the mare. I shut the door, 
and went towards the gate; the captain came inside the gate. I told him I 
was to go to Mr. Powell's. Captain Donellan made some answer, but what 
it was I did not take particular notice : I took the mare, and went. 

Q. When you came back from Mr. Powell, was you called by captain Do- 
nellan into the parlour ] A. I was called into the parlour by captain Donellan ; 
but whether it was the same morning, or a morning or two after, I cannot re- 
collect. I was called into the parlour : when I came to the parlour door, he 
said, " William, which gate did I come out at that morning ]" I looked at him, 
N 19 



and said, " At the iron gates." He said, " Look, lady Boiighton, what Wil- 
liam says." Afterwards he said, I should be a clear evidence for him about 
his coming out that gate. 

Samuel Frost sworn — Examined hy 3fr. Howorth. 

Q. Were you the servant sent by sir Theodosius Boughton to Mr. Powell 
at Rugby, on the Tuesday, for a medicine ? A. I was. 

Q. From whom did you receive the medicine T A. From I\Ir. Powell's 
own hands. 

Q. Into whose hands did you deliver the medicine'! A. Into the hands of 
sir Theodosius Boughton. 

Q. At what time of the day did you bring it? A. Between five and six 
o'clock in the afternoon. 

Q. What did he do with the medicine when he received if? A. He went 
with it up-stairs. 

Q. Were you with him that afternoon a-lishing'? A. About seven o'clock 
I was. 

Q. Did you stay with him till he returned '? A. I did. 

Q. Was captain Donellan along with sir Theodosius Boughton any part of 
the time f A. No, he was not. 

Q. Was sir Theodosius Boughton on foot or on horseback ? A, He kept 
on horseback all the time. 

Q. Was it possible for him to wet his feet? A. No, he had his boots on, 
and continued on horseback all the time. 

Q. Had you occasion to go into his room next morning before he took his 
physic ? A. Yes. 

Q. At what time did you go 1 A. About six o'clock. 

Q. Did you awake him ? A. I did, in order to get some straps to buckle 
on a net I was going to carry somewhere. 

Q. Who gave you those straps ? A. Sir Theodosius Boughton ; he got out 
of his bed, and went into the next room to take them out. 

Q. How did he appear at that time in his health ? A. He appeared to be 
in a very good state of health. 

Sa7nuel Frost, cross-examined hy 3'Ir. Bayrell. 

Q. It was between five and six o'clock when you brought the medicine 
from Mr. Powell's ? A. About that time. 

Q. Was it nearer six or five ? A. I can't say. 

Q. How long was it after that, that sir Theodosius Boughton went a-fish- 
ing T A. He was a-fishing when I went to him, about seven o'clock. 

Q. But when did he go a-fishing? A. I did not see him when he went out, 
1 was not in the way. 

Q. Where was he when you delivered him the medicine ? A. On the other 
side the brook, when I went to him. 

Q. Was he a-fishing when you delivered him the medicine? A. No; I 
delivered the medicine to him upon the stairs ; his sister stood by him when 
I delivered it to him. 

Q. What did he do with it? A. I cannot tell what he did with it ; he took 
it up-stairs in his hands, and showed it to his sister. 

Q. How soon afterwards was it that you saw him at the brook ? A. It might 
be a couple of hours afler I gave him the medicine. 

Q. Do you know what time he came home ? A. Near nine o'clock, I be- 
lieve ; it was quite dark when he came home. 

Q. Did your master complain that the physic Mr. Powell had sent him 
before made him sick. A. I never heard him make any complaint of it. 

Q. Did not you tell Mr. Powell so ? A. Not that physic ; he never said 
any thing to me about it. 

Q. Did he about any physic ? A. Not to me. 

Q. What did you mean by saying not that physic? A. He took one dose 


of physic, which made him very ill, and he brought it up again ; but he did 
not mention any thing to me about it. 

Q. Was any other person present besides his sister when you delivered 
the medicine to him 1 A. There was not. 

Q. What time of day did you generally dine at lady Boughton's 1 A. 
About two or three o'clock, or sometimes later. 

Q. How soon after dinner had you seen Mr. Donellan ? A. About seven 
o'clock, I believe, in the garden. 

Q. You had not seen him from dinner time till then 1 A. No. 

Q. Who was with him in the garden! A. My lady and madam Donellan. 

Q. Did you see nothing of him from dinner time till seven o'clock ] A. 

Q. Do you know when Mr. Donellan came home that night 1 A. No. 

Court. How long was it after you delivered the medicine to sir Theodo- 
sius Boughton, before he got on horseback, and went a-fishing 1 A. I cannot 
tell ; I was not in the house when he went. 

Mary Lynnes sivorn — Examined hy Mr, JVTieeler, 

Q. Did you live servant to Mr. Donellan, at Lawford Hall, a little before 
sir Theodosius Boughton's death ? A. Yes. 

Q. How long before sir Theodosius Boughton died "? A. I was not there 
at his death ; 1 had left the place then. 

Q. When did you leave it ? A. I cannot justly tell when I did leave it. 

Q. Was it a month or six weeks before sir Theodosius Boughton's death ? 
A. About a month, I believe. 

Q. How long had you lived there, before you left that place 1 A. I cannot 
justly tell. 

Q. Did you live there a twelvemonth, or half a year? A. No. 

Q. Might you have been there three or four months ] A. I might. 

Q. During the time you was there, Mr. Donellan was at that house? A. 
All the time" I was there, he was. 

Q. Do you know any thing about a still ? A. Yes. 

Q. Mention what you know about it. A. I will tell the truth, and nothing 
else. Mr. Donellan distilled roses, I do not know that he distilled any thing 

Q. ^'here was the still kept? A. Tn what he called his own room. 

Q. Was that the room he slept in ? A. No, he did not sleep there. 

Q. Was the room of that door locked? A. He slept there when madam 
Donellan was brought to bed, but at no time else while I was there. 

Q. Was that room locked in which the still was ? A. It was kept locked 
before Mrs. Donellan was brought to bed, but when she was brought to bed, 
it was open. 

Q, Do you know any thing of his using this still frequently ? A. Yes, dis- 
tilling roses ; I do not know that he distilled any thing else. 

Q. Was that done frequently ? A. Yes; I cannot tell how long he distilled, 
but he distilled a good while. 

Francis Jlmos sworn — Examined by Mr. Howorth. 

Q. Did you live at Lawford Hall at the time of the death of sir Theodosius 
Boughton ? A. Yes. 

Q. In what capacity ? A. Gardener. 

Q. Do you remember being out a-fishing with sir Theodosius Boughton 
the night before he died ? A. Yes. 

Q. VVas you with him the whole of the time he was fishing ? A. I was. 

Q. Was Mr. Donellan fishing with him ? A. He was not. 

Q. Do you remember seeing Mr. Donellan on the evening sir Theodosius 
Boughton died ? A. Yes, I saw him in the garden. 

Q. I am asking you if you saw Mr. Donellan on the evening after the 


death of sir Theodosius Boughton, and whether you had any conversation 
with him "? A. At night I had. 

Q. What did he say to you 1 A. He came into the garden to me ; he said, 
" How, gardener, you shall live at your ease, and wwk at your ease ,- it shall not 
be as it was in sir The''s days. I wanted before to be master, but I have got mas- 
ter now, and shall be master.''^ 

Q. Do you know any thing of Mr. Donellan using a still for any purpose 1 
A. He brought a still to me to clean, after sir The died ; it was full of lime, and 
the lime was wet. 

Q. Was any thing said by him about it ] A. He said he used the lime to 
kill fleas. 

Q. You as gardener, I suppose, know whether he used to gather things in the 
garden for the purpose of distilling ? A. He might for what 1 know. 

Q. Have you ever got any thing ? A. 1 have got lavender for him to dis- 
til, and have taken it into the house. 

Q. Have you in your garden any laurel trees ] A. Yes, and bays too, and 

Mr, JVewnham, And cellery 1 A. Yes. 

Q. On the morning on which sir Theodosius Boughton died, Mr. Donellan 
was with you, for the purpose of getting some pigeons 1 A. Yes. 

Q. Did any conversation pass between him and you respecting sir Theo- 
dosius Boughton "? A. Yes ; he said, " Gardener, you must go and take a 
couple of pigeons directly." I said they were not fit to eat. He said, " It 
will make no odds if they are not, for they are for sir The; we must have 
them ready against the doctor comes. Poor fellow," says he, "he lies in a 
sad^agony now with this damned nasty distemper, the pox; it will be the 
death of him." 

Q. That was on the morning on which he died ] A. Yes ; as soon as I 
went into the house with the pigeons, I met my lady and madam Donellan 
at the door ; they were wringing their hands. They said, " It is too late now, 
he is dead." They sent me for two women to lay him out. 

Francis Amos, cross-examined by Mr, JVewnham. 

Q. He was laid out 1 A. Yes 

Q. Mr. Fonnereau came there that day ? A. No, he came there the day after. 

Q. Did Mr. Fonnereau see him 1 A. Yes. 

Q. About what hour was it when the prisoner spoke to you about the 
pigeons ? A. It might be about eight o'clock. 

Q. How soon was it afterwards that the ladies came out wringing their 
hands 1 A. In a very few minutes. 

William Crofts sworn — Examined by Mr. Geast. 

Q. Did you attend at the taking the coroner's inquisition at Newbold upon 
the body of sir Theodosius Boughton] A. I did. 

Q. You was, I believe, one of the jury? A. I was. 

Q. Lady Boughton was examined upon that occasion 1 A. Yes, she was. 

Q. Did you, during lady Boughton's examination, observe any particular 
behaviour in captain Donellan ] — if you did, give an account of it. A. When 
lady Boughton said, " Captain Donellan rinsed the bottles," I saw captain 
Donellan catch her by the gown, and give her a twitch. 

John Darby shire sworn — Examined by Mr, Digby. 

Q. You was a prisoner in Warwick jail for debt? A. Yes. 

Q. Have you had any conversation with Mr. Donellan ] A. Yes, I have. 

Q. How came you to enter into any particular conversation with him ? A. 
We were both in one room together ; he had a bed in the same room I had, 
for a month or five weeks, I believe. In our conversation in the prison, I used 
to tell captain Donellan what I had heard. I remember one time we had a 
conversation about sir Theodosius Boughton's being poisoned : I asked cap- 



tain Donellan whether the body was poisoned or not. He said there was no 
doubt of it. I said, " For God's sake, captain, who could do it?" He said, 
" It was done amongst themselves ; he had no hand in it ; he had nothing to 
do with it." I asked who he meant by themselves. He said, himself, lady 
Boughton, the footman, and the apothecary. 

Q. Who did he mean by himself? A. Sir Theodosius Boughton. I said, 
" Sure, he could not do it himself." He said, no, he did not think he did ; 
he could not believe he would. I told him I thought the apothecary could 
hardly do it, for he had no interest — he would lose a good patient; that his 
footman could have no interest in it; and it was very unnatural to suppose 
that lady Boughton would do it. He then spoke of lady Boughton, how cove- 
tous she was ; he said she had received an anonymous letter the day after 
sir Theodosius' death, charging her plump with poisoning sir Theodosius ; 
that she called him and read it to him, and she trembled : he said she de- 
sired he would not let his wife know of that letter ; and asked him if he 
would give up his right to the personal estate, and some estates of about two 
hundred pounds a year belonging to the family. I think that was the sub- 
stance of that conversation. 

John Darby shire, cross-examined by Mr. Newnham. 

Q. Had you ever any acquaintance with Mr. Donellan before he came to 
Warwick jail ? A. No. 

Q. You never had seen him before ? A. Never. 

Q. W^hen had you this conversation ? A. In less than a month after he 
came into the jail. 

Q. Soon after his coming? A. It was not a month, I am sure. 

Q. What way of life was you in before you came to this jail ? A. A 
tradesman, and a very reputable one. 

Q. Not a successful tradesman? A. I have failed. 

Q. How often ? A. Twice, the more is my misfortune. 

Q. Do you mean twice a bankrupt? A. Yes, but I fell fairly. 

Q. Where did you live ? A. At Birmingham. 

Q. You know Mr. Pope very well? A. Yes. 

Q. And sir Alexander Leith, too? A. I did not know him. 

Q. But 3'ou did know Mr. Pope? A. Yes, I did; but not sir Alexander 
Leith ; I never spoke to sir Alexander in my life. 

Q. What time of the day was it when this conversation happened which 
you represent to have been held between you ? A. I fancy it was before 
dinner ; we had had that conversation, at least parts of it, frequently ; he 
talked of this affair, I suppose, hundreds of times. 

Q. So that was his usual account ? A. Not that very language, speaking 
about sir Theodosius Boughton's death being imputable to lady Boughton ; 
but has said, that he was innocent. He said it was impossible he could do a 
thing which was not in his power ,- he said it was never in his power to do it. 

Mr. IJoworth. Did the prisoner in any of those conversations ever make a 
doubt that sir Theodosius Boughton was poisoned by somebody ? A. Since 
Christmas, I think, he has said he was not poisoned. 

Q. How lately has he altered in his conversation ? A. I cannot justly say. 

Q. Have you in conversation heard him say that he was poisoned. A 
Yes, I have. 

Sir William Wheeler, Bart., sworn — Examined by Mr. Howorth. 

Q. You, I believe, was the guardian of sir Theodosius Boughton ? A. 
I was. 

Q. Do you remember receiving that letter ? A. Yes, I received that letter 
from captain Donellan; it is his handwriting. (The letter read.) 

" Bear Sir, — I am very sorry to be the communicator of sir Theodosius' 
death to you, which happened this morning ; he has been for some time past 
N 2 


under the care of Mr. Powell, of Rugby, for a similar complaint to that which 
he had at Eton. Lady Boughton and my wife are inconsolable. They join 
me in best respects to lady Wheeler, yourself, and Mr. and Mrs. Sitwell. 
We are much concerned to hear of their loss. 

" I am, dear sir, with the greatest esteem, your most obedient servant, 
" Lawford Hall, August 30, 1780. J. D." 

Sir William TJlieeler. This is my answer. 

'■'■ Lemington, September 2, 1780. 
" Dear Sir, — I received the favour of your letter the day after my return to 
Mr. Sitwell's. The sudden and very untimely death of my poor unfortunate 
ward gives me great concern; and we condole with lady Boughton, Mrs. 
Donellan, and yourself, for his loss. I send a servant ■«ith this, to know 
how lady Boughton and Mrs. Donellan do after so sudden and great a shock. 
Please to make our respects to them ; at a proper time I shall make my re- 
spects to them and you in person. 

" I am, dear sir, your obedient humble servant, 

"To John Donellan, Esq. Lawford Hall." 

Q. When was first intimated to you any suspicion of this young gentle- 
man having been poisoned 1 A. On Friday, the 1st of September. 

Q. Did you, in consequence of that information, write any letter to the 
prisoner respecting it. A. On the 3d of September, Mr. Newsarn came to 
my house, and read a letter from lord Denbigh ; in consequence of what I 
heard from him, I wrote a letter to the prisoner. 

Q. Have you that letter, or a copy of it? A. There is a copy of it. 

Q. Can you, from 3'our recollection, undertake to say this is a copy of 
what you wrote 1 A. It is. (The copy of that letter read.) 

'■'■ Lemington, September 4, 1780. 
^^Dear Sir, — Since I wrote to you last, I have been applied to, as the guar- 
dian of sir Theodosius Boughton, to inquire into the cause of his sudden 
death ; and report says, that he was better the morning of his death, and 
before he took the physic, than he had been for many weeks, and that he was 
taken ill in less than half an hour, and died in two hours after he had swal- 
lowed the physic. Supposing this to be true, there is great reason to believe 
that the physic was improper, and that it might be the cause of his death : 
as it makes a great noise in the country, and as I find I am very much blamed 
for not making some inquiry into the affair, I thought it necessary to call 
upon Mr. Powell to give an account in what state of health he found sir 
Theodosius Boughton when he first attended him; what medicines he gave 
him, and particularly the dose of physic that he took the morning of his 
death ; and what state he was in at the time of his death. I expect Mr. 
Powell here every moment; his character is at stake; and I dare say it will 
be a great satisfaction to him to have the body opened ,■ and though it is very 
late to do it now, yet it will appear from the stomach whether there is any 
thing corrosive in it. As a friend to you, I must say, that it will be a great 
satisfaction to me, and I am sure it must be so to you, lady Boughton, and 
Mrs. Donellan, when I assure you that it is reported all over the country that 
he was killed either by medicine or by poison. The country will never be 
convinced to the contrary unless the body is opened, and we shall all be very 
much blamed ; therefore, I must request it of you and the family, that the 
body may be immediately opened by Mr. Wilmer of Coventry, or I\lr. Snow 
of Southam, in the presence of Dr. Rattray, or any other physician that you 
and the family think proper. Mr. Powell is now with me; and from his ac- 
count, it does not appear that his medicines could be the cause of his death: 
he has not given him any mercury since June, and the physic that he took 



the morning' of his death was composed of rhubarb and of jalap, two very 
innocent drugs. Mr. Powell says it will be a great satisfaction to him to 
have the body opened ; and for the above reasons, I sincerely wish it, as no 
reflection can be cast upon me, lady Boughton, or you, if it is done ; and if 
it is not, she will be much blamed. I will only add that this affair makes 
me very unhappy, as it must do you, lady Boughton, and Mrs. Donellan. I 
beg of you to lay this affair before lady Boughton in as tender a manner as 
you can, and to point out to her the real necessity of complying with my 
request, and to say that it is expected by the country. 

" I am, with respect to lady Boughton, yourself, and Mrs. Donellan, your 
sincere friend and obliged humble servant, " WM. WHEELER. 

"To John Donellan, Esq., Lawford Hall." 

I received this answer from Mr. Donellan. 

'•'• Dear Sir, — I this moment received a letter from you, by Mr. Powell, 
which I communicated to lady Boughton and my wife, and we most cheer- 
fully wish to have the body of sir Theodosius opened, for the general 
satisfaction, and the sooner it is done the better ; therefore, I wish you could 
be here at the time. 

"I am, dear sir, with the greatest sincerity, your most obedient and hum- 
ble servant, 

'' Lawford Hall, Sept. 4th, 1780. "JOHN DONELLAN. 

" To Sir William Wheeler, Bart." 

" Dear Sir, — I have this moment received the favour of your letter, and I am 
very happy to find that lady Boughton, Mrs. Donellan, and yourself approve 
of having the body opened. I should wish to show lady Boughton, and every 
part of her family, every respect that is in my power; but it would be very 
improper for me, or indeed any other person, except the faculty, to attend 
upon this occasion. One surgeon, a physician, and Mr. Powell should attend 
as soon as possible. I hope that you understand, that it is not to satisfy my 
curiosity, but the public, that I wish to have this done, and to prevent the 
world from blaming any of us that had any thing to do with poor sir Theo- 
dosius. I am, with great sincerity, your faithful humble servant, 

i' To John Donellan Esq., Lawford Hall." 

I received this answer from captain Donellan. 

" Dear Sir, — Give me leave to express the heartfelt satisfaction I enjoyed in 
the receipt of your letter, as it gave lady Boughton, my wife, and self an 
opportunity of instantly observing your advice in all respects. I sent for 
Dr. Rattray and Dr. Wilmer; they brought another gentleman with them; 
Mr. Powell gave them the meeting, and upon receipt of your last letter, I 
gave it to them to peruse and act as it directed. The four gentlemen pro- 
ceeded accordingly, and I am happy to inform you that they fully satisfied us ; 
and I wish you would hear from them the state they found the body in, as it 
will be an additional satisfaction to me that you should hear the account 
from themselves. Sir Theodosius made a very free use of ointment and other 

things, to repel a large b which he had in his groin. So he used to do 

at Eaton, and Mr. Jones told me often. I repeatedly advised him to con- 
sult Dr. Rattray, or Mr. Carr; but as you know sir Theodosius, you will not 
wonder at his going his own way, which he would not be put out of. I can- 
not help thinking but that Mr. Powell acted to the best of his judgment for 
sir Theodosius in this and the last case, which was but a short time finished 
before the latter appeared. Lady Boughton expressed her wishes to sir 
Theodosius that he would take proper advice for his complaint; but he 
treated hers as he did mine. She and my wife join in best respects. 

'' 5fk September, \780. "JOHN DONELLAN. 

" To Sir William Wheeler, Bakt." 



Q, Upon the receipt of this letter did you entertain any idea but that the 
body had been ojiened ? No. 

Q. When were you first undeceived in that particular ? A. On Wednes- 
day morning-. 

Q. Did you, in consequence of being undeceived, write any letter to Mr. 
Donellan ] A. I wrote this letter. 

" Dear Sir, — From the letter that I received from you yesterday morning, 
I concluded that the body of the late sir Theodosius Boughton had been 
opened, and that I should receive an account from the faculty of the state that 
they found it in. I have not j'et heard from them, but find that they found 
the body in so putrid a state that they thought it not safe to open it: 1 like- 
wise find, that a young man of Kugby, ]Mr. Bucknill, did attend and ofier to 
open the body, but it was not done. If Bucknill and Snow will do it, I, by 
all means, recommend it to you to let it be done, as it must be satisfaction to 
you as well as myself to have the cause of his sudden death cleared up to 
the world. If there is any danger in opening the body, it is to themselves, 
and not to the family, as the body may be taken into the open air. If I am 
not misinformed, Mr. Bu(-knill is or was very desirous of opening the body. 

" I am, with respects to lady Boughton, Mrs. Donellan, and yourself, your 
sincere and obliged humble servant, 

'^Lemingfon, .Sept. 6fh, 1780. 

"If Snow is from home, I do not see any impropriety in Bucknill's doing 
it, if he is willing. I will send Snow to Bucknill, that if Bucknill should 
be gone to Lawford Hall, he may follow him. 
"To John Donellan, Esq., Lawford Hall." 

Sir William JVlieeler. This is the answer I received to that letter on the 
evening sir Theodosius was buried. 

^^ Dear Sir, — In answer to yours, which I this moment received, I now, as 
I did yesterday in my letter, refer you and any one that pleases, for the par- 
ticulars respecting the state Messrs. Rattray, Wilmer, Powell, and another 
gentleman, found sir Theodosius' body in. They, agreeably to your directions, 
were by themselves upon that business, and I was in hopes you had seen 
them since I wrote to you yesterday morning. IMr. Bucknill, of Rugby, 
called liere afterwards, and said he heard that we wanted to have the body 
opened. I told him we did, and that I wrote to the above gentleman for that 
purpose, and that you had named them to us ; and if you had named him 
(Bucknill), we would have sent to him as we did to these gentlemen. We 
fixed this day for the corpse to be buried, as being the eighth day since sir 
Theodosius died ; and if the coffin had not been soldered by the plumber 
(Crooke) from Rugby, Mr. Bucknill should be welcome to inspect the body. 
The time fixed for the burial is three o'clock to-day; and if you please to 
order it to be postponed until the state of the body is made known to you by 
the people you ordered to come here, please to let me know it before. If we 
do not hear from you, we conclude j'ou have seen some of them ; and lest you 
should not, I will send to Dr. Rattray to call upon you directly, and bring 
with him my note to him to come here with Mr. Wilmer to open sir Theo- 

" We are, dear sir, your most humble servants, and in particular, 

" ./? rjuarter before one o'clock, TVednesday. 
"To Sir William Wheeler, Bart." 

Sir William TVheeler sworn — Cross-examined by Mr. Keumham. 
Q. Did you know the late sir Edward Boughton "? A. I did very well 



Q. Do you recollect what he died of? A. He died suddenly, but I don't 
know what it was of. 

Q. I believe he died as he was walking home T A. I understood so. 

Mr. Howorth. What sort of person was sir Edward Boughton ? A. A 
short thick-set fat man. 

Q. What sort of a person was the late sir Theodosius 1 A. He was very 
thin, and was taller than his father. 

Court. How far do you live from Lawford Hall ? A. Eight miles the 
nearest way; the coach-road is ten miles at least. The servants always go 
the coach-way, because the other is a trespass. 

" To the Coroner and Gentlemen of the Jury, at Newbold. 

" Gentlemen, — My understanding from report that you are to meet again 
to-day, I hold it my duty to give you every information I can collect respect- 
ing the business which you are upon, exclusive of what happened before you 
last Saturday, when lady Boughton and myself was with you. During the 
time sir Theodosius was here, great part of it was spent in procuring things 
to kill rats, with which this house swarms remarkably. He used to have 
arsenic by the pound weight at a time, and laid the same in and about the 
house, in various places and in as many forms. We often expostulated with 
him about the extreme careless manner in which he acted, respecting him- 
self and the family in general ; his answer to us was, that the men servants 
knew where he had laid the arsenic, and for us we had no business with it. 
At table, we have not knowingly eaten any thing for many months past which 
we perceived him to touch, as we well knew his extreme inattention to the 
bad effects of the various things he frequently used to send for, for tlie above 
purposes, as well as for making up horse medicines ; he used to make up 
vast quantities of Gulard, from a receipt which he had from Mrs. Newsam ; 
she will give you a copy of it, if you please, and it will speak for itself. 
Since sir Theodosius' death, the gardener collected several fish which sir 
Theodosius laid : he used to split them and rub the stuiT upon them ; the 
gardener was ordered to bury the fish. The present men servants, and the 
former ones, for about two years back, with William Mathews, the house 
carpenter, can relate the particulars respecting the above having been sir 
Theodosius' common practice when he was able, or that he was not a-fishing, 
or attending his rabbits, or at carpenter's work. Lady Boughton, my wile, 
and self have showed the utmost willingness to satisfy the public respecting 
sir Theodosius' death, by every act within the limits of our power. The 
accompanying letter from sir William Wheeler will testify the same, as well 
as our orders that every one that came to the house should see the corpse 
before it was put into the cofiin the fourth day ; and the eighth day the corpse 
was sent to the vault at Newbold. 

" I am, gentlemen, your most obedient servant, 

" 14^ Sept. 1780, Thursday, Lawford Uall." 

The counsel for the crown called a witness to prove the copy of the letter 
which Mr. Howorth in his opening stated to have been sent from the prisoner 
to Mrs. Donellan ; but owing to a defect in the evidence, the copy could not 
be received. 

prisoner's defence, as read by the clerk of the arraigns. 
" My Lord and Gentlemen of the Jury, — Permit me, in this unfortunate 
situation, to submit to your consideration a few particulars and observations 
relating to this horrid charge which has been brought against me. 

" Although many false, malevolent, and cruel reports have been circulated 
in the public prints and throughout the country, ever since my confinement, 
tending to prejudice the minds of the people in an opinion injurious to my 


honour and dangerous to my life, I still have confidence that your justice 
and humanity cannot be misled by them. My marriage with Mrs. Donellan, 
in the year 1777, was with the entire approbation of her friends and guardians ; 
and to convince both her and them of my honourable intentions, 1 entered 
into articles for the immediate settling of her whole fortune on herself and chil- 
dren, and deprived myself of the possibility of even enjoying a life-estate in 
case of her death; and this settlement did not extend only to her then fortune, 
but to all future expectancies. Ever since my marriage the deceased and 
myself lived in perfect friendship and cordiality ; and it is well known to the 
family, and to many respectable persons, that upon several occasions of 
danger to his life, which the deceased had unguardedly fallen into, I have 
stepped in and prevented it. Such instances of friendship on my part are, I 
trust, sufficient to convince you that I could never entertain any design 
against his life. Immediately after the death of sir Theodosius, I wrote a 
letter to sir William Wheeler, one of his guardians, to acquaint him of the 
melancholy event; and to my letter sir William Wheeler sent an answer, 
condoling with the family for the loss. A few days alter, I think on the 4th 
of September, I received a second letter from sir William, respecting the 
surprise which had arisen in the country respecting sir Theodosius' death, 
and his wish to have the body opened for general satisfaction. This letter 
was brouo-ht me by Mr. Powell, and so anxious was I to give that satisfac- 
tion, that by him I returned an answer, expressing the cheerful acquiescence 
of myself and the family to his propositions, and immediately after sent a 
servant to Coventry to Mr. Wilmer and Dr. Rattray (gentlemen alluded to 
in sir William's letter), requesting them to be at Lawford directly to perform 
the operation. These gentlemen arrived there about nine o'clock at night, 
' wiien I produced to them sir William's letter, and desired they would 
pursue his instructions.' They accordingly, with Mr. Powell, went up-stairs 
and examined the body ; and after continuing there some time, returned and 
informed the family, that the same w^as so putrid, it was not only dangerous 
to approach it, but impossible at that time to discover the cause of sir Theo- 
dosius' death. I then expressed my wish that sir William might be ac- 
quainted with the result of their attendance ; and I think Dr. Rattray 
promised to wait upon him the next morning for that purpose. But by a 
letter I received from sir William, soon afterwards, I found Dr. Rattray had 
not been with him, and therefore immediately sent a letter to Mr. Wilmer, 
particularly requesting that he and Dr. Rattray v/ould, on receipt thereof, 
wait on sir W' illiam Wheeler ; to which he wrote me an answer, informing 
me that he was then engaged in a case of midwifery; but, that as soon as 
he should be disengaged, he would comply with my request; and further 
informed me, that Dr. Rattray was then from home; that if he should return 
before he (Mr. Wilmer) left Coventry, he would communicate my wishes 
to him. 

" Soon after this, a Mr. Bucknill called at Lawford, and said that he had 
understood that 1 wished to have the body of sir Theodosius opened. I in- 
formed him that it was my wish; but that Mr. Wilmer, Dr. Rattray, and 
Mr. Powell had attended the preceding evening, and declared that from the 
high state of putrefaction the body was in, it was not only unsafe to open it, 
but at that time impossible to form any opinion with respect to the same. 
However, I told him that I should nevertheless think myself obliged to him 
to undertake the matter, if he would wait upon sir William Wheeler, and 
obtain his consent to do it. Mr. Bucknill then left me, and the next morn- 
ing, being the 6th of September, I received another letter from sir William 
Wheeler," wherein he mentioned that he had been informed of Mr. Bucknill's 
having expressed a wish to open the body, and that therefore he had requested 
Mr. Snow (the apothecary of his family) to call upon him, and take him to 
Lawford for that purpose ; in which letter Sir William also recommended to 
me to let them open the body, if they should attend. 


" This day had been fixed upon, several days prior to the same, for sirTheo- 
dosius' funeral, and the tenants and others invited were then there ready to 
attend the same. About three o'clock that afternoon, Mr. Hucknill arrived 
alone ; and immediately on his arrival, I asked him if the plumber and carpen- 
ter (who were then there) should open the coflin, who desired they might 
wait till Mr. Snow should attend. Mr. Bucknill waited some time, and then 
informed me that he must go, but said he would return again ; and desired that, 
if Mr. Snow should arrive in the mean time, he might wait. I pressed him 
to stay, but he said he could not do it. 

" Soon after Mr. Bucknill was gone, Mr. Snow arrived, and waited a consi- 
derable time for Mr. Bucknill's return ; but on his not arriving, he at length 
sent for the plumber and others into the parlour, and after examining them as 
to the putridity of the body, declared he would not be concerned in opening it 
for sir Theodosius' estate ; and, recommending it to the family to have the 
same buried that afternoon, immediately left Lawford before Mr. Bucknill's 

" The body was therefore buried that evening, but not by my directions or 

" This, my lord and gentlemen of the jury, was the undisguised part I took ; 
but such is my misfortune, that not only a gentleman, unused to attend this 
bar, whose persuasive abilities the most conscious innocence must tremble at, 
has been called in against me, but the most trifling actions and expressions 
have been handled to my prejudice ; my private letters have been broken open, 
and many other unjustifiable steps have been taken to prejudice the world 
and imbitter my defence. However, depending upon the conscience of my 
judge, and the unprejudiced impartiality of my jury, I trust my honour will 
be protected by their verdict." 

For the prisoner, Andrew Miller sworn — Examined by Mr. Dayrell. 

Q. You are, I understand, postmaster at Rugby ? A. Yes, I am. 

Q. Did you keep the Bear inn, at Rugby, at the time the assembly was 
held at that house ] A. Yes. 

Q. Do you remember any quarrel happening at your house between sir 
Theodosius Boughton and Mr. Wildgoose? A. Yes. 

Q. How long was it ago ] A. It was on Tuesday, the 1st of June, 1778. 

Q. Do you remember whether Mr. Donellan was sent for or not on the 
occasion ] A. I remember something of it. 

Q. Do you remember Mr. Donellan's coming 1 A. Yes, I do. 

Q. Do you remember what part Mr. Donellan acted upon that occasion 1 
A. I thought at that time that he acted in such a manner as to prevent their 

Q. Were any applications made to you to deliver up to the prosecutor's 
attorney any letters that might come from Captain Donellan ] A. I don't 
recollect; I don't understand what you said about the letters ; I remember 
something of some letters. 

Mr. George Loggie sworn — Examined by Mr. Green. 

Q. Do you know Mr. Chartres, a clergyman? A. Yes. 

Q. Do you know of any misunderstanding, or a quarrel between him and 
sir Theodosius Boughton] A. Yes I was present at the time; I don't recol- 
lect the exact time, but it was about a year and a half ago. Part of the quar- 
rel was between sir Theodosius Boughton and a Mr. Miller ; Mr. Chartres 
interfered to accommodate the matter ; Mr. Miller asked pardon, and sir 
Theodosius forgave Mr. Miller. Then sir Theodosius insisted upon fighting 
Mr. Chartres in consequence of that ; sir Theodosius sent for captain Donel- 
lan; the captain came over the next morning in consequence of the letter, 
and interfered as a mediator; but I considered the matter .as settled before 
the captain came. 


Mr. John Hunter siuorn — Examined by Mr, Newnham. 

Q, Have you heard the evidence that has been given by these gentlemen % 
A. I have been present the whole time. 

Q. Did you hear lady Boufrhton's evidence ? A. I heard the whole. 

Q. Did you attend to the symptoms her ladyship described as appearing 
upon sir Theodosius Boughtnn after the medicine was given him ] A. I did. 

Q. Can any certain inference, upon physical or chirurgical principles, be 
drawn from those symptoms, or from the appearances, externally or internal- 
ly, of the body, to enable you, in your judgment, to decide that the death was 
occasioned by poison? A. 1 was in London then; a gentleman who is in 
court waited upon me with a copy of the examination of ]Mr. Powell and 
lady Boughton,and an account of the dissection, and the physical gentleman's 
opinion upon that dissection. 

Q. I don't wish to go into that — T put my question in a general way. A. 
The whole appearances upon the dissection explain nothing but putrefaction. 

Q. You have been long in the habit of dissecting human subjects ? I pre- 
sume you have dissected more than any man in Europe ? A. I have dissected 
some thousands during these thirty-three years. 

Q. Are those appearances you have heard described such, in your judg- 
ment, as are the result of putrefaction in dead subjects'? A. Entirely. 

Q. Are the symptoms that appeared after the medicine was given such as 
necessarily conclude that the person had taken poison? A. Certainly not. 

Q. If an apoplexy had come on, would not the symptoms have been nearly 
or somewhat similar? A. Very much the same. 

Q. Have you ever known or heard of a young subject dying of an apo- 
plectic or epileptic fit? A. Certainly; but with regard to the apoplexy, not 
so frequent: young subjects will perhaps die more frequently of epilepsies 
than old ones ; children are dying every day from teething, which is a spe- 
cies of epilepsy arising from an irritation. 

Q. Did you ever in your practice know an instance of laurel water being 
given to a human subject? A. No, never. 

Q. Is any certain analogy to be drawn from the eifects of any given spe- 
cies of poison upon an animal of the brute creation, to that it may have upon 
a human subject? A. As far as my experience goes, which is not a very 
confined one, because I have poisoned some thousands of animals, they are 
very near the same : opium, for instance, will poison a dog similar to a man ; 
arsenic will have very near the same effect upon a dog as it would have, 1 
take it for granted, upon a man : I know something of the effects of them, 
and I believe their operations will be nearly similar. 

Q. Are there not many things which will kill animals almost instanta- 
neously, that will have no detrimental or noxious effect upon a human subject; 
spirits, for instance, occur to me ? A. I apprehend a great deal depends upon 
the mode of experiment; no man is fit to make one but those who have made 
many, and paid considerable attention to all the circumstances that relate to 
experiments : it is a common experiment, which, I believe, seldom fails, and 
it is in the mouth of everybody, that a little brandy will kill a cat. I have 
made the experiment, and have killed several cats, but it is a false experi- 
ment; in all those cases where it kills the cat, it kills the cat by getting into 
her lungs, not into her stomach ; because, if you convey the same quantity 
of brandy, or three times as much, into the stomach, in such a way as the 
lungs shall not be affected, the cat will not die. Now, in those experiments 
that are made by forcing an animal to drink, there are two operations going 
on; one is a refusing the liquor by the animal — its kicking and working with 
its throat to refuse it; the other is, a forcing the liquor upon the animal ; and 
there are very few operations of that kind, but some of the liquor gets into 
the lungs ; I have known it from experience. 

Q. If you had been called upon to dissect a body supposed to have died of 

• '' .. 


poison, should you, or not, have thought it necessary to have pursued your 
search through the guts ] A. Certainly. 

Q. Do you not apprehend that you would have heen more likely to re- 
ceive information from thence than any other part of the frame 1 A. That 
is the tract of the poison, and I certainly should have followed that tract 

Q. You have heard of the froth issuing from sir Theodosius' mouth, a 
minute or two before he died; is that peculiar to a man dying of poison, or 
is it not very common in many other complaints ] A. I fancy it is a general 
effect, of people dying in what you may call health, in an apoplexy or epi- 
lepsy, in all sudden deaths where the person was a moment before that in 
perfect health. 

Q. Have you ever had an opportunity of seeing such appearances upon 
such subjects'? A. Hundreds of times. 

Q. Should you consider yourself bound, by such an appearance, to impute 
the death of the subject to poison? A. No, certainly not; I should rather 
suspect an apoplexy, and I wish, in this case, the head had been opened to 
remove all doubts. 

Q. If the head had been opened, do you apprehend all doubts would have 
been removed 1 A. It would have been still farther removed ; because, al- 
though the body was putrid, so that no one could tell whether it was a recent 
inflammation, yet an apoplexy arises from an extravasation of blood in the 
brain, which would have laid in a coagulum. I apprehend, although the body 
was putrid, that would have been much more visible than the effect any poi- 
son could have had upon the stomach or intestines. 

Q. Then, in your judgment >ipon the appearances the gentlemen have 
described, no inference can be drawn from thence that sir Theodosius Bough- 
ton died of poison? A. Certainly not; it does not give the least suspicion. 

Mr, John Hunter, cross-examined by Mr. Howorth. 

Q. Having heard the account to-day, that sir Theodosius Boughton, appa- 
rently in perfect health, had swallowed a draught which had produced the 
symptoms described, I ask you whether any reasonable man can entertain a 
doubt but that draught, whatever it was, produced those appearances ? A. I 
don't know well what answer to make to that question. 

Q. Having heard the account given of the health of this young gentleman, 
on that morning, previous to taking the draught, and the symptoms that were 
produced immediately upon taking the draught, I ask your opinion, as a man 
of judgment, whether you don't think that draught was the occasion of his 
death"? A. With regard to his being in health, that explains nothing; we 
frequently, and indeed generally, see the healthiest people dying suddenly ; 
therefore, I shall lay little stress upon that : as to the circumstances of the 
draught, I own they are suspicious ; every man is just as good a judge as I am. 

Court. You are to give your opinion upon the symptoms only, not upon 
any other evidence given. 

Q. Upon the symptoms immediately produced, after the swallowing of that 
draught, I ask whether, in your judgment and opinion, that draught did not 
occasion his death ] A. I can only say that it is a circumstance in favour of 
such an opinion. 

Court. That the draught was the occasion of his death 1 A. Not because 
the symptoms afterwards are those of a man dying who was before in perfect 
health ; a man dying of an epilepsy or apoplexy, the symptoms would give 
one those general ideas. 

Court. It is the general idea you are asked about now ; from the symp- 
toms which appeared upon sir Theodosius immediately after he took the 
draught, foHowed by his death so very soon after, whether, upon that part of 
the case, you are of opinion that the draught was the occasion of his death T 
A. If I knew the draught was poison, I should say, most probably, the symp- 


toms arose from tlmt ; but -when I don't know that that draught was poison, 
when I consider that a number of other things might occasion his death, I cannot 
answer positively to it. 

Court, You recollect the circumstance that was mentioned of a violent 
heaving in the stomach 1 A. All that is the effect of the voluntary action 
being lost, and nothing going on but the involuntary. 

Mr. Hvwurlh, Then you decline giving any opinion upon the subject? 
A. I don't form any opinion to myself; I cannot form an opinion, because 
I can conceive, if he had taken a draught of poison, it arose from that; I 
can conceive it might arise from other causes. 

Q. If you are at all acquainted with the effects and operations of distilled 
laurel water, whether the having swallowed a draught of that would not have 
produced the symptoms described'? A.I should suppose it would ; I can 
only say this of the experiments I have made with laurel water upon ani- 
mals, it has not been near so quick. I have injected laurel water directly 
into the blood of dogs, and they have not died ; I have thrown laurel water 
with a precaution into ine stomach, and it never produced so quick an effect 
with me as described by those gentlemen. 

Q. But you admit that laurel water would have produced symptoms such 
as have been described 1 A. I can conceive it might. 

Mr. Newnham. Would not an apoplexy or an epileps)', if it had seized 
sir Theodosius Boughton at this time, though he had taken no physic at all, 
have produced similar symptoms tool A. Certainly. 

Q. Where a father has died of an apoplexy, is not that understood, in some 
measure, to be constitutional ] A. There is no disease whatever that becomes 
constitutional but what can be given to a child. There is no disease which 
is acquired that can be given to a child ; but whatever is constitutional in 
the father, the father has a power of giving that to the cliildren, by which it 
becomes what is called hereditary ; there is no such thing as hereditary dis- 
ease, but there is an hereditary disposition for a disease. 

Mr. Hov:orth. Do you call apoplexy constitutional ? A. We see most 
diseases are constitutional ; the small-pox is constitutional, though it requires 
an immediate cause to produce the effects; the venereal disease is hereditary ; 
I conceive apoplexy as much constitutional as any disease whatever. 

Q. Is apoplexy likely to attack a thin young man, who had been in a 
course of taking cooling medicines before? A. Not so likely, surely, as an- 
other man ; but I have in my account of dissections two young women dying 
of apoplexies. 

Q. But in such a habit of body particularly, attended with the circumstance 
of having taken cooling medicines, it was very unlikel}'^ to happen? A. I 
do not know the nature of medicines so well as to know that it would hin- 
der an apoplexy from taking effect. 

Court. Give me in your opinion in the best manner you can, one wa}^ or 
the other, whether, upon the whole of the symptoms described, the death pro- 
ceeded from that medicine, or any other cause ? k. I do not mean to equivo- 
cate; but when I tell the sentiments of my own mind, what I feel at the time, 
lean give nothing decisive. 

Mr. Justice Buller : — " Gentlemen of the jurj/, — The prisoner at the bar 
John Donellan, stands indicted for the wilful murder of sir Theodosius 
Boughton, which is charged to have been effected by poison. 

" Before I state the evidence, I will take notice of a circumstance mentioned 
by the prisoner in his defence, which is, that a great many false and cruel 
reports have been circulated in the public prints through the country, ever 
sincehisconfinement, tending to prejudice the minds of the people against him. 
If such have been printed, it has been extremely im})roper and highly criminal, 
for there is nothing which tends more to corrupt the course of justice than 
attempting to prejudice men's minds before the cause comes to be tried. 


Whether the fact be true or false is what I cannot say, for I really do not 
know of my own knowledge ; but if it be true, I am confident you will take 
care to strip your minds of every thing you may have heard of this cause 
before you got into that box ; and you will consider it coolly and deliberately 
upon the evidence given before you, and pronounce one way or the other, 
agreeably to what appears to you to be the truth of the case ; and that in the 
verdict which may be finally given, whatever that may be, you will take 
nothing into your consideration that has not been proved in the course of the 
trial. On the part of the prosecution a great deal of evidence has been laid 
before you. It is all circumstantial evidence, and in its nature it must be so, 
for in cases of this sort, no man is weak enough to commit the act in the 
presence of other persons, or to suffer them to see what he does at the time ; 
and, therefore, it can only be made out by circumstances either before the 
committing of the act — at the time when it was committed — or subsequent to it. 

And a presumption, which necessarily arises from circumstances, is often 
more convincing, and more satisfactory, than any other kind of evidence ; 
because it is not within the reach and compass of human abilities to invent a 
train of circumstances which shall be so connected together as to amount to a 
proof of guilt, without affording opportunities of contradicting a great part, 
if not all of those circumstances. I5ut if the circumstances are such as, when 
laid together, bring conviction to your minds, it is then fully equal, if not, 
as I told you before, more convincing than positive evidence. Whether the 
circumstances in this case do or do not amount to that conviction, is a matter 
for your discussion. I will state the evidence as I have penned it down ; and 
I trust I have not omitted any thing that is material, though I am conscious I 
have taken down a great deal that may not be material ; and if I am thought 
by the counsel on either side to omit any thing material, I beg they will cor- 
rect me, and I shall be glad to receive correction at their hands." 

His lordship now summed up the evidence on both sides, and then pro- 
ceeded thus : — 

" Gentlemen^ — This is the whole of the evidence on the part of the prosecu- 
tion, and on the part of the prisoner; but in so long a trial as this has been, 
I don't think I should discharge my duty if I rested contented with doing 
nothing more than merely stating the evidence which has been given in 
a cause of so great length, consisting of such a variety of circumstances. I 
hold it to be a duty which I owe to the public, and which I owe to you, to 
state to you what are the impressions that the evidence makes upon my 
mind, and to give you my observations u})on it; but at the same time pre- 
viously to inform you, that you are not to adopt any opinion because it is 
mine : you are to consider the evidence yourselves ; you are to form your own 
opinions ; and if you differ from me in one, in any, or in all of the reasons I give, 
it is your judgment, and not mine, that must decide this cause. Now, there 
are two questions for you to consider; the first is, did the deceased die of 
poison ? With respect to that, you have had tlie evidence, on the part of the 
prosecution, of a great number of very able men in the physical line, who 
have given you their opinions that they have no doubt but that the death 
was occasioned by poison. The first of the physicians called is Dr. Rat- 
tray ; he says, he has no doubt at all but the medicine was the cause of the 
death, and, in his opinion, the appearances which he saw upon the body could 
not arise from putrefaction. He has taken great pains to inform himself of 
the effects of laurel water ; he has tried various experiments, and has told 
you the effect each experiment produced. He mentioned the circumstance of 
a biting upon his tongue on opening the body of sir Theodosius Boughton, 
which likewise affected him in all the experiments he made afterwards; and 
from thence, he says, he is satisfied that the biting which he felt upon his 
tongue, at the time he opened this body, did proceed in some m.easure from 
laurel water. He says he never saw any heaving of the stomach attend either 
an epilepsy or an apoplexy. Mr. Wilmer says, that though from the appear- 


ances of the body he is not able to form any opinion of the cause of the 
death, yet he is now clearly of opinion that sir Theodosius Boughton's death 
was occasioned by the draught administered by lady Boughton. He is asked 
about the epilepsy, and he says the heaving of the stomach is not a circum- 
stance attending epilepsies. Another circumstance to be attended to upon 
the evidence is, that when they came to Lawford Hall, neither of them were 
told that there was the smallest suspicion that poison had been administered 
to sir Theodosius. If they had been, they both swear, in the strongest terms, 
that they would have opened the body at all events. Doctor Ash argues 
in opinion with them that sir Theodosius died in consequence of the draught; 
and he says that he can attribute the effects and symptoms which have been 
spoken of to nothing but poison; that the appearances, as mentioned upon the 
bodies of animals upon which this poison was used, were similar to those 
symptoms which appear when an animal is killed by vegetable poison. 

" Doctor Parsons agrees in the same opinion that sir Theodosius Boughton 
did die of the poison ; and he says that the smell is a great characteristic of 
laurel water. He agrees that the heavings are to be attributed to the effect 
of the medicine ; his words were, 'they must be attributed to the effects of 
the medicine undoubtedly,' and that the laurel water will produce all the effects 
that have been mentioned. 

" Gentlemen, these are the gentlemen of the faculty who have given their 
opinion on the part of the prosecution. 

" For the prisoner, you have had one gentleman called, who is likewise of 
the faculty, and a very able man. I can hardly say what his opinion is, for he 
does not seem to have formed any opinion at all of the matter. He at first 
said, he could not form an opinion whether the death was or was not occa- 
sioned by the poison, because he could conceive that it might be ascribed to 
other causes. I wished very much to have got a direct answer from Mr. 
Hunter, if I could, what upon the whole, was now the result of his attention 
and application to the subject, and what was his present opinion ; but he says 
he can say nothing decisive. So that upon this point, if you are to determine 
upon the evidence of the gentlemen who are skilled in the faculty only, you 
have the very positive opinion of four or five gentlemen of the faculty that the 
deceased did die of poison. On the other side, you have what I really cannot 
myself call more than the doubt of another ; for it is agreed by Mr. Hunter 
that the laurel water would produce the symptoms which are described. He 
says an epilepsy or an apoplexy would produce the same symptoms ; but 
as to an apoplexy, it is not likely to attack so thin and so young a man as 
sir Theodosius was ; and as to an epilepsy, the other witnesses tell you they 
don't think the symptoms which have been spoken of do show that sir 
Theodosius had any epilepsy at the time. 

" Gentlemen, this is the case as it stands upon the evidence of the physical 
gentleman only ; but if there be a doubt upon that evidence, we must take 
into consideration all the other circumstances, either to show that there was 
poison administered, or that there was not; and every part of the prisoner's 
conduct is material to be considered. The first evidence that has been spoken 
of is, that for three weeks or more before the death, the prisoner had enter- 
tained doubts that something or other might happen to sir Theodosius before 
he came of age. This is sworn to by lady Boughton. On the evening before 
sir Theodosius died, the prisoner came out of the house into the garden about 
seven o'clock ; and what is then his address to lady Boughton and his wife ? 
He says, ' he has been to see sir The fishing, and that he had been persuading 
sir The to come in, lest he should take cold, but could not.' Is that true 1 You 
have it sworn by a servant who was with sir Theodosius Boughton all the 
time, that the prisoner was not with him at all. What was there, then, that 
called upon the prisoner unnecessarily to tell such a story 1 If you can 
find an answer to it that does not impute guilt to the prisoner, and if it be 
such an answer as you think is a fair and reasonable one, you will adopt it ; 


but upon this fact, and upon many others that I must point out to your atten- 
tion, I can only say, that it frequently happens, that unnecessary, strange, 
and contradictory declarations cannot be accounted for, otherwise, than by a 
fatality which attends guilt. Then, you have it sworn by lady Boughton, 
that the prisoner, when he came up into the bed-chamber, accosted her in a 
manner as if he knew nothing of what had been doing; he asked, what do 
you want 1 Why, had he heard nothing about it ? The servant had told him 
what lady Boughton had said, and that he was going in a great hurry for the 
apothecary, Powell. Lady Boughton then told him, she thought, if such 
physic had been given to a dog, it would have killed him. What is the next 
step taken by the prisoner] He asks for the bottle. Is he not apprized 
at that time by lady Boughton that she suspected what it was that killed 
sir Theodosius, for though she does not use the term poison, she says she 
thought, if such physic had been given to a dog, it would have killed him. 
Then v/hat is the next thing done by the prisoner ] He asks her which is 
the bottled She shows it to him; when he had got it in his hand, he asks 
again, is this it ] She says, yes. He immediately pours in water, and 
washes it out. Now, gentlemen, can you find a reason for that 1 Was there 
any thing so likely to lead to a discovery as the small remains, however 
small they might have been, of medicine in the bottle ; but that is destroyed by 
the prisoner. In the moment he is doing it, he is found fault with. What 
does he do next? He takes the second bottle, pours water into that, and 
washes it also. He is checked by lady Boughton, and asked what he meant 
by it, W'hy he meddles with the bottle ? His answer is, he did it to taste it ; 
but did he taste the first bottle 1 Lady Boughton swears he did not. The 
next thing he does, is to get all the things sent out of the room; for when 
Sarah Blundell comes up, he orders her to take away the bottles, the basin, 
and the dirty things. He puts the bottles into her hands, aud she was going 
to carry them away, but lady Boughton stopped her. Why were all these 
things to be removed 1 Why was it necessary for the prisoner, who then was 
fully advertised of the consequence by lady Boughton, to insist upon having 
every thing removed 1 Why should he be so solicitous to remove every 
thing that might lead to a discovery l When they came down stairs, which 
was some time afterwards, lady Boughton tells you of another conversation 
on the part of the prisoner ; and if you believe that, it shows that what he had 
said about tasting the medicine was not from an intention, at the time, to taste 
it, but was an after-thought ; for he says to his wife, ' Your mother has been 
pleased to take notice of my washing the bottles out ;' and he adds, ' I don't 
know what I should have done, if 1 had not thought of saying I put the 
water in, and I put my finger upon it to taste it.' This he states afterwards, 
as a sudden thought which occurred to him at the instant, as an excuse. She 
swears that he did not taste the first bottle at all. 

" Then the servant is called ; for the prisoner is anxious to know what he 
remembers of the time of his going out. He fixes the time of the prisoner's 
going out to be seven in the morning, and then the prisoner answers, ' Will, 
you are my evidence.' Now something had passed between the time of the 
prisoner's leaving the bed-room and the time of the servants being called into 
the parlour, and also between the time of lady Boughton's coming into the 
parlour and the time of the servant being called in ; all of which she does 
not remember ; and though this expression is extraordinary, yet unless we 
knew the whole of what had passed, that expression does not strike me as a 
matter which is much to be relied on ; for if lady Boughton had entertained 
suspicion of the prisoner's having been in sir Theodosius' room that morning, 
and had communicated that suspicion to the prisoner, it is natural enough for 
him to call a person to speak to a fact which might relate to that or some- 
thing else, which he had said to lady Boughton, or which she had said to 
him, and then he might make this answer without adverting to any thing but 
what had im.mediately passed between them. The next thing is his conduct 
2 21 


with respect to the gentlemen of the faculty. He told lady Boughton he 
had received a letter from sir William Wheeler, desiring that the body might 
be opened ; he read the answer to her, which he wrote after Dr. Rattray had 
been there ; she objected to that answer, but the particular reason for object- 
ing to it she did not give. In that letter he tells sir William Wheeler that 
he has great satisfaction in the receipt of his letter, as it gives him an oppor- 
tunity of instantly observing his advice in all respects. He then says he 
sent for Dr. Rattray and Mr. Wilmer, who brought with them another person, 
who made three, and that Mr. Powell gave them the meeting; so that, ac- 
cording to this letter, four persons were present, and which meeting the 
prisoner, by his answer, leaves sir William Wheeler to understand had been 
a meeting procured in consequence of the letter sir William had himself sent. 
The prisoner in that letter says, ' after the receipt of your last letter, I gave it 
them to peruse and act as it directed ; the four gentlemen proceeded accord- 
ingly, and I am happy to inform you, fully satisfied us.' Now what were 
the facts, upon the evidence, which warranted this general expression. Dr. 
Rattray and Mr. Wiliner had been in the room ; they had seen nothing hut 
the face of the deceased ; they had heard of no suspicion of poison ; they 
had never seen the first letter v.hich sir William Wheeler had written to tha 
prisoner; and it will be for you to consider, whether by showing them the 
second letter only, in which nothing is said about a suspicion of poison, and 
keeping back the first, he meant to mislead the doctors; and whether by his 
answer to sir William Wheeler, he also intended to mislead him; and that 
his answers should have that effect which sir William Wheeler swears it 
had upon his mind ; that is, that sir William W'heeler should understand 
that the body had been inspected and opened by these gentlemen of the 
faculty. The first letter from sir William Wheeler the prisoner never pro- 
duced at all, in which sir William had expressly intimated and spoken of the 
suspicions about the manner in which sir Theodosius Boughton got his 
death; wherein he strongly presses the opening of the body in different 
parts of his letter, mentioning the report of the country, that sir Theodosius 
Bougiiton had been killed by medicine or by poison; and in which at last 
he concludes, begging that the body might be opened. This letter the pri- 
soner had, but this letter was not produced. For what purpose was it that 
this letter was secreted 1 If it were for the purpose of preventing the body 
being opened, and of preventing the doctors from making a fair and full 
examination in what way sir Theodosius did get his death, it is then a very 
strong circumstance in tne cause ; and j'ou observe that both these witnesses 
swear, that if they had had any intimation of poison, which if they had seen 
that letter they must have had, they never would have gone away without 
opening the body ; so that the body was not opened at that time by the 
means of this letter being kept back. But yet it is possible that the prisoner 
might suppose that sir William Wheeler's ideas were sufficiently communi- 
cated to the physicians and the surgeons by the last letter, and that therefore 
it was unnecessary to show the first, and that he did not do it with a view to 
suppress from them the suspicions that had been entertained abroad ; and if 
you are of that opinion, then this fact ought to have no weight. The next 
fact spoken to is, the prisoner's behaviour about the clothes ; he orders them 
to be taken out of the room before any person comes, he takes up the stockings 
himself, and says they are wet. Was that true? Lady Boughton swears, 
positively, that she examined the stockings ; that they were not wet, and 
there was no appearance of their having been wet. Another fact which has 
been proved in evidence is, the conversation that the prisoner has held about 
this unfortunate young man before the time that this happened. ]Mr. New- 
sam says, he represented sir Theodosius Boughton to him in a very bad 
state of health, that his blood was a mass of mercury and corruption. Is that 
truel Two witnesses have been called who attended him, Mr. Powell and 
Mr. Carr, and neither of them say a syllable about any mercury being ever 


given to him. The prisoner tells a story to Mr. Newsam about a violent 
swelling in the groin, which they wanted to bring to a head, and for that 
reason had endeavoured to prevail on the deceased to live well ; but that he 
would not do; and that the disease was then at a crisis. Was that true'? 
Mr. Powell does not agree in it, for he says it was very trifling, it was 
hardly above the skin ; so that in this also he is contradicted by Mr. Powell. 
He told Mr. Newsam that sir Theodosius' breath was so offensive, they could 
hardly bear it. Of that there is no evidence either way. 

"Then they go to facts subsequent to the time when Dr. Rattray was there. On 
the day after, Mr. Bucknill, the surgeon, goes, and desires leave to open the body. 
What is the prisoner's answer ■? Dr. Rattray and Mr.Wilmer have declined 
it, and it would not be fair in us to open it after gentlemen so eminent in the 
profession have declined it. What ! in a case where a suspicion of poison had 
prevailed, where that had been particularly mentioned by a near friend and rela- 
tion of the family, sir W. Wheeler, if a man was to be found who would open 
the body, was not the thing to be desired by every person ? But that is refused. 
Afterwards Mr. Snow comes to the house ; what passed between the prisoner 
and Mr. Snow, we have not heard ; but when Mr. Bucknill comes back again, 
he asks the prisoner if Mr. Snow was gone. The prisoner told him yes, he had 
been there, and he had given orders what they were to do, and they were 
proceeding a<!cordingly. What were the orders? were they any thing more 
than that the body should be buried ? Those, the prisoner says in his de- 
fence, were the orders ; but Mr. Snow is not called. You have had no evi- 
dence of any thing that passed between the prisoner and Snow. You are 
told by the prisoner, in his defence, that Snow advised him instantly to bury 
the body; and if that were all the advice given, why in such a case should 
not the prisoner call Snow to prove what passed between them, and what in- 
formation he gave to Snow 1 or why did lie not communicate to Bucknill the 
reasons given by Snow ? 

" But the prisoner chose to content himself with a general answer to Mr. 
Bucknill, that Mr. Snow had given orders what they should do, and they 
M'ere proceeding accordingly. They then show yon that the prisoner, for a 
long time before this, had been making use of a still ; he had a still in the 
house, which he kept in a room that belonged to himself, and was called his 
room, and in which, at former times, he had been distilling different things. 
That is a circumstance to be considered, but it is a circumstance which, if 
alone, would not deserve much weight ; for a man may have such a thing for 
a lawful purpose, and he had made use of it sometimes for an honest purpose, 
for he used it in distilling lavender and in distilling roses. But, however, this 
fact appears, that he had it in his possession long before the time when sir Theo- 
dosius Boughtondied ; that he produced it himself within two or three days after 
sir Theodosius' death ; that it was then full of lime, and it was wet. The pri- 
soner then thought it necessary to assign a reason for the state in which 
it was, and he tells the gardener he had used the lime to kill fleas. Now it 
is rather an extraordinary thing that it should be thought necessary by him, 
at that time, to make an excuse about the still, when no question had been 
asked about it. What other conversation is there between the prisoner and 
this witness, the gardener? In the morning of that day, the prisoner comes 
to the gardener, and tells him, ' You shall work at your ease now. I long 
wanted to be master before, but now I am got master, and I shall be master.' 
On the same morning he tells the gardener he must get some pigeons ; that 
they must have them at ten o'clock for sir Theodosius ; for, poor man, he is 
very ill with that nasty disorder. This must have been after he had seen him 
in a dying state ; to what cause can we attribute his ordering pigeons to be 
killed, and got ready at such an hour as ten o'clock in the morning? The 
counsel suggest that the pigeons were to be put to the deceased's feet : this is 
a practice we must all have heard of ; but if that were the design, how comes 
it, it was never mentioned in the room 1 Not a word is said to lady Bough- 


ton about it, or that any thing- like it was to be done ; but all the conversation 
that passed between her and him respects the bottle, and not a word of any- 
thing that is likely to be of any use to sir Theodosius Boughton ; though he is 
dying, and at the last gasp, soon after eight o'clock, the pigeons are not to be 
had until ten. 

"Then, as to theconduct of the prisoner before the coroner. Lady Boughton 
had mentioned the circumstance of the prisoners rinsing out the bottle ; one of 
the coroner's jury swears that he saw the prisoner pull her by her sleeve. Why 
did he do that 1 If he was innocent, should it not be his anxious desire, as 
he expresses in his letter, that all possible inquiry should be mnde ] What 
passes afterwards when they get home. The prisoner tells his wife that lady 
Boughton had given this evidence unnecesarily ; that she was not obliged to 
say any thing but in answer to questions that were put to her, and that the ques- 
tion about rinsing the bottles was not asked her. Did the prisoner mean she 
should suppress the truth ] that she should endeavour to avoid a discovery, as 
much as she could, by barely s-aying yes, or no, to the questions that were asked 
her, and not disclose the whole truth ] If he was innocent, how could the 
truth affect him ] But at that time the circumstance of rinsing the bottles ap- 
peared even to him to be so decisive, that he stopped her in the instant, and 
he blamed her afterwards for having mentioned it. Gentlemen, all these are 
very strong facts to show wliat was passing in the prisoner's own mind ; they 
are strong facts to show what he was conscious of at that time. Besides that, 
the evidence that was given by one of the witnesses, of the conversation that the 
prisoner has held since he has been in the jail, is to be considered. You are told, 
that for a long time together, beginning within a month after he got into the jail, 
he was contumally talking about this affair ; at that time he made no doubt 
but that sir Theodosius Boughton had been poisoned. He stated it as a mat- 
ter that admitted of no doubt. Within a short time past, that tale has been 
altered. Gentlemen, these are tlie material circumstances against the pri- 

"The prisoner in his defence says, and which he would have you believe 
from the letter, that he has always been ready to give the utmost satisfaction 
in this inquiry ; that he wished to have the body opened ; that he expressed 
himself so to the different witnesses ; that he wrote to sir William Wheeler, 
desiring him to come over to Lawford Hall, and begged that he (sir William) 
would be present at the time. You have heard the letters read, and the ex- 
pressions that are made use of. In them he mentions the satisfaction which 
lie received from sir William Wheeler's letter, and that it was his desire to 
have the body opened. He said to the sursfeon that was examined, that it 
was his wish to have the body opened. But the question for you to consider 
is, whether, upon the whole of his conduct, he did endeavour to have the body 
opened ; for if, upon the whole, he did not attempt to get the body opened, but 
has repeatedly prevented it, that will be much stronger than his sa)'ing, once, 
twice, or twenty times, that he wished it. If his wish had been sincere, why 
w^as the first letter of sir W'illiam Wheeler suppressed, and not shown to the 
physician ] It is for you, upon the whole, to say whether you are satisfied 
that what he said in one or two of his letters, and what he said to the young 
man, the surgeon, was his real intention, and that he did mean that the body 
should be opened ; or whether those expressions were only used to throw a 
blind upon the case, and still that he endeavoured by every artifice to prevent 
it. If he did prevent the opening of the body before it was buried, and meant 
to do so, you will consider with what view that could be done. Could it be 
done with any view but to suppress the truth 1 If you are satisfied, upon the 
whole, that tiie deceased was poisoned, the next question is, by whom was 
that poison prepared. You have been truly told by the counsel on the part of 
the prosecution, that it is perfectly immaterial what was the kind of poison. 
The indictment states it to have been arsenic. B>it it is not necessary, in point 
of law, to be proved that any arsenic was administered to the deceased ; for 


if you are satisfied that he was destroyed by poison, and that the prisoner 
mixed up that poison, and put it secretly in the place of a medicine, for the 
purpose of being given to sir Theodosius ; and that it afterwards was given 
to him, and was the cause of his death ; that is full evidence of the offence 
that is charged against him. Now with respect to his being the person, it 
must depend upon the evidence I have stated to you before. As against him 
every circumstance I have been speaking of is a degree of proof; and that 
circumstance (to which I can find no answer whatever) of his rinsing out the 
bottle, does carry strong marks of knowledge in him that there was some- 
thing in that bottle which he wished should never be discovered. 

" The prisoner, in his defence says, that he was not to gain any thing by 
sir Theodosius Boughton's death ; that his affairs were so arranged, upon his 
marriage, that he never was to get any thing by sir Theodosius' death ; and 
therefore, there was no motive that could have led him to the commission of 
this crime. Whether there was any settlement made on his marriage, or 
what that settlement was, has not appeared in evidence. The prisoner says 
further, that he had, in repeated instances, interfered to save this young man 
from scrapes. In one instance, it is proved that he did ; and some evidence 
is given of another instance, though the witness says that matter was settled 
before the prisoner came. However, so far yon must take that for the credit 
of the prisoner, that he did go for the purpose of mediation, and preventing 
mischief. Another fact of that sort was proved, by lady Boughton, to have 
happened at Bath ; and she understood that the prisoner interfered there to 
put an end to a dispute sir Theodosius had with another gentleman. 

" Now these are facts that are not to be forgotten ; you will take them into 
your consideration, and give them all the weight that you think they in justice 
deserve; but you will observe that these quarrels are at a distance of time 
before the death of sir Theodosius. One of them is at the distance of two 
years, and that which lady Boughton speaks of, is, I think, about November, 
1778; so that these are facts of his interposing to prevent any mischief that 
might arise in consequence of quarrels between the deceased and other per- 
sons at a period very distant from that which gave rise to the present inquiry. 
On the other hand, it is proved that the prisoner has represented this young 
man as in a dangerous state of health, not likely to live long, very recently 
before his death; and at a time when sir Theodosius Boughton appeared to 
others to be in good health and good spirits ; for the clergyman speaks of a 
conversation on the Saturday before his death. You must take all the circum- 
stances of the case together into your consideration, and remember that it is 
for you to form your own opinions, and to decide upon the fate of the prisoner ; 
in the doing of which 1 am sure you will act according to the best of your 
judgment and your conscience, to find out the truth of the case; and as you 
find that truth, so you will pronounce your verdict." 

The trial began at half after seven o'clock in the morning; at twenty-five 
minutes after six in the afternoon, the jury withdrew ; they returned into 
court, at thirty-four minutes after six, with a verdict finding the prisoner 

Sentence. — Mr. Justice Buller. ' • 

'■'■John Donellan, — The offence of which you now stand convicted, next to 
those which immediately affect the state, the government, and the constitution 
of our country, is of the blackest dye that man can commit. For, of all 
felonies, murder is the most horrible, and of all murders, poisoning is the 
most detestable. Poisoning is a secret act, against which there are no means 
of preserving or defending a man's life ; and as far as there can be different 
degrees in crimes of the same nature, yours surpasses all that have ever gone 
before it. The manner and the place in which this dark deed was transacted, 
and the person on whom it was committed, much enhance your guilt. It 
was committed in a place where suspicion, at the instant, must have slept ; 

► i. 



where you had aooess as a bosom friend and brother ; where you saw the rising 
representative of an ancient family reside in affluence ; but where your ambi- 
tion led you proudly, but vainly, to imagine that you might live in splendour 
and in happiness, if he, whom you thought your only obstacle, were removed. 
Probably, the greatness of his fortune caused the greatness of your offence ; 
and I am fully satisfied, upon the evidence given against you, that avarice was 
your motive, and hypocrisy afforded you the means of committing this offence ; 
that the deed was done by you, which not only hastened him, but must very 
soon bring you, to an untimely grave, has been fully proved to the satisfaction 
of myself and the jury; and I think it is impossible to find any, even the 
meanest capacity amongst the numerous auditory standing around you, that 
can doubt about your guilt. 

"In most cases of murder, it has pleased Heaven, by some marks or other, 
to point out the guilty person ; and all the care and the foresight of the most 
cunning and the coolest offenders, have not been able to guard against some 
token, some unthought-of circumstance, which has left a door open to a 
discovery, which they imagined they had eflectually barred up all access to. 

" In your case, the false accounts given by yourself; the misrepresentations 
that you have held out to sir William Wheeler ; the endeavours that you have 
used to prevent a full inquiry and discovery of the truth of the case; the 
strange conversations which you have held at different times ; and, above all, 
the circumstance of rinsing out the bottle, leave your guilt without the smallest 
doubt. In such a case as A'ours, supported by such cogent proofs as have 
been adduced against you, you can receive nothing from the tribunal before 
which you now stand but strict and equal justice. But you will soon appear 
before an Almighty Judge, whose unfathomable wisdom is able, by means 
incomprehensible to our narrow capacities, to reconcile justice with mercy. 
Your education must have informed you, and you will do well to remember, 
that such beneficence is only to be obtained by deep contrition, by sound, 
unfeigned, and substantial repentance. Maj' it please that great and awful 
Being, during the short time that is allotted for your existence in this world, 
to work that repentance, and that contrition in your mind, which may befit 
you for his everlasting mercy. But the punishment which the public has a 
right to demand, and which I must inflict upon yon, is speedy and ignomini- 
ous death. And the sentence which I now pronounce upon you is — 

"That you be taken from hence to the place from whence you came; that 
from thence, on INIonday next, j'ou be carried to the place of execution, there 
to be hanged by the neck until you are dead ; and that your body be after- 
wards delivered to the surgeons to be dissected and anatomized; and may 
God Almiglity be merciful to your soul." — 

On Monday, the second day of April, the prisoner was executed pursuant 
to his sentence. 

Fro7n the An77ual Register o/ 1781. 

Captain Donellan, convicted of the murder of sir Theodosius Boughton, 
about seven in the morning, was carried in a mourning coach from Warwick 
jail to the place of execution, and hanged according to his sentence ; after 
which, his body was given to the surgeons to be dissected. Before he was 
turned off, he addressed the spectators in the following terms. " I'hat as he 
was then going to appear before God, to whom all deceit was knoAvn, he so- 
lemnly declared that he was innocent of the crime for which he was to sufier." 

From the Gentleman's Magazine, August 30tJ>, 17S0. 

Jugiisf 31. Died at Lawford Hall, Warwickshire, sir Theodosius Edward 
Allesley Boughton, Bart, by whose decease the title and principal part of the 
family estates devolve to the late Shuckburgh Boughton, Esq. ; the residue, to 
a very considerable amount, passes, in the female line, to the late baronet's 
sister, Theodosia Anna Maria Ramsay Beauchamp Boughton Donellan, wife 


of John Donellan, Esq. late in the service of the hon. the East India com- 
pany, by whom she has issue living, one son and one daughter. Tlie friends 
of this young baronet, having found reason to suspect that some unfair prac- 
tices had been used to put a period to his life, caused his grave to be opened, 
and his body taken out, though more than ten days after its interment. Four 
surgeons attended, and among other shocking symptoms, which seemed to 
contirm the current report that he died of poison, the tongue was found pro-, 
jected from the mouth, swelled to an enormous size, and turning upwards so 
as nearly to touch the nose ; and the whole corpse was a spectacle of horror 
scarce to be endured. The surgeons were unanimously of opinion that he 
had been poisoned, but who were the instruments remains to be discovered." 

One of the strongest recent instances in England of a conviction on conjectu- 
ral evidence, previously to the very late case of Elizabeth Fenning, took place 
in 1781, in the affair of captain Donellan, who was condemned and executed 
for poisoning his brother-in-law, sir Theodosius Boughton, Bart. 

Probably a course of events never existed, which, in calling for an exer- 
cise of judgment, required a greater attention to the relative situation of the 
principal actors. For this reason, it is thought better to open the present 
narrative with a brief account of the family connexion, which a sudden death, 
whether a murder or not, so inauspicioiisly dissolved ; and to do so it will be 
proper, in the first place, to begin with a few particulars, explanatory of its 
formation, and of the previous life and habits of the accused. 

Captain Donellan, the son of colonel Donellan, w^as educated at the Royal 
Academy, Woolwich, for the regiment of artillery, in which he received a 
commission, and proceeded very young to the East Indies. Unfortunately 
for him, his views in the army were terminated by some military misde- 
meanour, which, either by the sentence of a court-martial, or otherwise, 
obliged him to retire from active service. Whatever were the particulars, 
which at this distant period we have not been able to ascertain, his demerits 
could not have been very flagrant, as he received half-pay on the establish- 
ment of the 39lh regiment of foot (for which he had left the artillery) until 
his conviction ; and had thoughts of taking orders to enable him to enjoy two 
livings, which were in the gift of the Boughton family. It is but fair to 
observe, that the first of these facts presumes a mitigated military fault ; and 
the second, that such fault was not aggravated by any notorious breach of 
moral duty. His marriage with Miss Boughton also took place with the 
general consent of her relations, which would scarcely have been the case 
had his character been materially impeached. Circumstances of this kind, 
however, operate most injuriously against a falling man; and so it proved 
with the professional disgrace of captain Donellan, which effected much in 
his disfavour when he became suspected of the murder of his brother-in-law. 

It was in the year 1777 that his marriage with Miss Boughton, the sister 
of sir Theodosius, took place, the said brother and sister being the only sur- 
viving children of sir Edward Boughton, Bart, of Lawford Hall, in the 
county of Warwick. Sir Edward, by his will, left his son and daughter 
under the sole care and management of his widow, their mother, who called 
in the family aid of sir Francis Skipworth and sir William Wheeler, the 
former of whom died before sir Theodosius ; and as to sir William Wheeler, 
he seldom acted but when lady Boughton especially required his advice and 

At the time of his sister's marriage, sir Theodosius Boughton was just 
entering into his seventeenth year, and was a student at Eton, where Mr. and 
Mrs. Donellan paid him their nuptial visit, and soon after took up their resi- 
dence at Bath. Although captain Donellan possessed little or no fortune of 
his own, it has been already observed, that the match was approved of by 


the friends of the lady; to conciliate whom, the captain not only settled the 
whole of his wife's actual fortune upon herself, but also every thing which 
she might afterwards become entitled to, either by inheritance or legacy. 
Such was the apparently happy commencement of an alliance which ended 
so disastrously. 

Whilst Mr. and Mrs. Donellan resided at Bath, they received a visit from 
lady Boughton and the young baronet, who had been removed from Eton in 
consequence of ill health arising from youthful imprudence. During this 
visit, sir Theodosius, being young and high spirited, engaged in one or two 
serious quarrels, from which, it was acknowledged on all sides, that the pru- 
dence and experience of captain Donellan were exerted to extricate him 
without a duel. Upon lady Boughton's return to Lawford Hall, she wrote 
in the most pressing manner to invite the captain and his lady to join her 
there, an invitation which they at first declined, but subsequently accepted ; 
most unfortunately, as under every view of the case, it produced very melan- 
choly consequences. The arrival of captain and Mrs. Donellan at Lawford 
Hall occurred in June, 1778, about a year after their marriage; and it ap- 
pears they continued resident and domesticated there from that lim.e until the 
fatal catastrophe in 1780. 

It is clear from the general tenor of the evidence produced upon the trial, 
that the Donellans were not only at home at Lawford Hall, but that the influ- 
ence of the captain there w-as very great. When it is considered that he was 
in the maturity of active life, that is to say, in his seven or eight-and-thirtieth 
year; that lady Boughton was aged, and that the baronet was barely twenty 
at his death, his ascendency will not appear surprising. Other circuinstances 
tended to give him this weight; lady Boughton was not a very intellectual 
woman, and her ill-fated son appears to have been occtipied entirely by his 
pleasures. During this trial, much stress was laid upon captain Donellan's 
frequent prognostications of a fatal termination to the irregular course of his 
young brother-in-law, as if they were uttered by him to preface the catas- 
trophe which he premeditated ; but let the facts be fairly attended to, and 
what could be more natural than such predictions from an individual of his 
age and experience. The first visit he paid to the imprudent youth was at 
Eton ; he had not then completed his sixteenth year, and yet was under the 
care of a medical gentleman, for a complaint which it is unnecessary to name. 
From Eton he was removed to Northampton, and placed under the private 
tuition of a Mr. Jones ; and it is proved that he was attended there for some- 
thing similar. It further appears, that he indulged in the dangerous habit 
of prescribing for himself, and that he was continually taking physic; and 
lastly, he was again infected at the time of his death, slightly, according to 
the apothecary who attended him — but what was the truth 1 — why, that the 
said apothecary treated his complaint rather slightly ; but in a few days was 
called in again, upon the manit'estation of a symptom which, although no 
adequate cause for immediate apprehension, was confirmatory of virulent 
disease. Such being the uncontradicted facts, in common candour, ought 
general expressions anticipating the premature death of so early a victim of 
intemperance, to be considered as at all remarkable, particularly when ac- 
companied with advice both to his mother and to himself] Or is it wrong 
from such data to say, in narrative, that sir Theodosius Boughton was what 
captain Donellan, with truth, if not with delicacy, described him to be — a 
young man, whose early and repeated imprudence bade fair to shorten his 
existence ? 

Such, with the addition of the unhappy Mrs. Donellan, was the family 
circle at Lawford Hall ; and if to the foregoing particulars it be added, that 
the latter was heir-at-law to the larger part of her brother's fortune, if he 
died without legitimate issue; and that the ostensible views of captain Do- 
nellan were to take orders to enable him to enjoy the two livings in the gift 
of sir Theodosius — the reader will be furnished with a tolerably faithful out- 


line of the relative situation of this family, when the fatal circumstance 
occurred, which threw it into so much confusion, and which is now to be ' - 

described from the testimony of lady Boughton, as delivered before the coro- 
ner. This particular deposition it will be proper to give at large, as it was 
the deponent's j^rs^ account of the melancholy transaction ; and in the sub- 
sequent trial she materially varied in her explanation of the identical fact 
which decided the fate of the prisoner at the bar. , 

"Anna Maria Boughton, of Little Lawford, in the county of Warwick, 
widow, upon her oath, saith, that the deceased was her son ; that for a con- 
siderable time before his death, he took various medicines which were sent 
to him from a Mr. Powell, a surgeon in Rugby, which sometimes occasioned 
the deceased to keep his room. That on the 30th of August last, this exami- 
nant went into his room to give him part of the medicines sent for him from 
the said Mr. Powell ; and that about seven o'clock in the morning of the ^^ 

same day, this examinant, by the direction of the deceased, gave him the 
medicine contained in one of the phial bottles then standing upon the mantle- 
piece of the deceased ; that she perceived, upon pouring it out into the basin 
to give to the deceased, a large quantity of powder or sediment at the bottom 
of the phial; that it had a very offeiisive and nauseous smell,- that the deceased, 
complained very much of the nauseousness of the medicine, and that he 
thought he should not be able to keep it upon his stomach ; that there was a 
label upon the bottle, in which the medicine was contained, expressing the 
medicine to be the purging potion for sir Theodosius Boughton. And this 
examinant saith, that she cannot tell whether there were any other bottles in 
the deceased's room containing the same medicine. That John Donellan, 
Esq., this examinant's son-in-law, 6e;'«o- informed by her of the situation the 
deceased was in, came upstairs to this examinant .■ and after beino- informed 
by this examinant of the medicine she had given him, desired her to give 
him the bottle; and that he then put water into the bottle, and poured it and 
ike settling of the bottle out together,- put his finger into it, and informed this 
e.vaminant it had a nauseous taste. And this examinant further saith, that the 
deceased, immediately after taking the medicine, seemed as if he was going 
into convulsions for a considerable time ; but after that appearance had sub- 
sided, the deceased seemed as if he was going to sleep ; upon which this 
examinant left the room, and returned back in the space of about hve minutes, 
when she found the deceased with his eyes fixed, his teeth set, and the froth 
running out of his mouth ; and that he expired in a few minutes afterwards. 
And this examinant further saith, that the composition or mixture contained 
in the bottle given by her to the deceased, was something in colour to that pro- 
duced and shown to her by the said Mr. Powell, at this the time of her exami- 
nation, but to the smell very different, to the best of this examinant's infor- 
mation and belief. ANNA BOUGHTON." 

One of the strangest circumstances attendant upon a death so alarming 
was the subsequent conduct of lady Boughton : it would seem from her fur- 
ther deposition on the succeeding day, and on the trial, that the rinsing of 
the bottles by captain Donellan struck her as exceedingly suspicious and 
improper, yet neither these suspicions, nor the suddenness of her son's death 
upon the swallowing of a medicine, induced the good lady to take the ar- 
rangement of the funeral out of his hands, or even to interest herself to have » 
any surgical inspection of the body. In so calm a way, indeed, did this 
calamity pass over, that on the Saturday following the Wednesday on which 
it took place, the deceased was absolutely soldered up in his coffin. Public 
attention, however, had been strongly excited ; and poison being very gene- 
rally suspected, the tendency of these suspicions at length reached the eara 
of the assistant guardian, sir William Wheeler, who wrote a polite note to 
captain Donellan, informing him of the nature of the prevalent rumour, and 
P 22 



the necessity there \vas to do it away by a professional examination of tiie 
body. The reply of captain Donellanwas prompt and acquiescent; and also 
expressed a wish that sir William Wheeler himself would attend. The three 
practitioners, with an assistant, however, arrived by themselves, and were 
informed by the captain that they were called upon to open the body of the 
deceased — for what ] — " the satisfaction of us all ;" but he did not mention 
the suspicion of poison. It is remarkable that upon this intimation, the gen- 
tlemen, finding that owing to the putridity of the body, the operation would 
be attended with danger to themselves, declined it — on the ground, that in 
its then state, it would not determine the cause of the death ; and captain 
Donellan was blamed for not inducing them to operate, at all hazards, by 
resting on the suspicion of poison, or, in other words, on the suspicion that 
he was himself the murderer of his brother-in-law. More than this ; in giving 
sir William Wheeler an epistolary account of this visit, he left it ambiguous 
whether the body had been opened or not; but then, on the other hand, he 
requested one of the gentlemen himself to call on the baronet, who promised 
to do so, but did not. It further told against him that on the next morning, 
Mr. Buckuill, a surgeon of Rugby, having heard that the former gentlemen 
had declined operating, called at Lawford Hall, and offered to take out tlie 
stomach at his own risk; but the captain declined, on the ground of unfair- 
ness to the other professional gentlemen, unless directly authorized by sir 
William Wheeler; and in consequence, Mr. Bucknill went away. Of this 
visit sir William heard, and wrote again, requesting that Mr. Bucknill and 
his own apothecary, Mr. >Snow, might do what it was so desirable should be 
done; but here another jostle of circumstances took place. Owing to their 
professional engagements, the two gentlemen missed each other ; Mr. Buck- 
nill, who came first, was called av/ay to a dying patient ; and when he re- 
turned, Mr. Snow had arrived, and from a sense of danger, having declined 
opening the body, was departed, and therefore there was no more to be done. 
Captain Donellan, upon this, proceeded with the funeral, which took place 
the same day, between three and four o'clock. 

In all these transactions, it is very remarkable that although the suspicion 
of poison could, and did, attach to captain Donellan only, yet he was strange- 
ly permitted to arrange every proceeding which was to produce satisfaction, 
and that by the mother of the deceased, who was very early alarmed at his 
equivocal conduct. 

But, although the interment was effected, when it became generally known 
that the body had not been opened, the minds of all orders of people were 
alarmed, and it was laudably insisted upon by the gentlemen of the neigh- 
bourhood that the deceased should be taken up, the coroner be called, and a 
surgical examination take place by course of law. This was done accord- 
ingly, and the depositions on the first day of examination were, in substance, 
as follows : 

That of lady Boughton has already been given. 

Mr. Powell, the apothecary, who supplied the draught, the taking of 
which was followed by the death of sir Theodosius, deposed, that it was a 
mixture consisting of jalap, rhubarb, spirits of lavender, simple syrup, and 
nutmeg water. . 

Sarah Steane, who laid out the deceased, simply stated, that to the time 
of the body being placed in the coffm, it appeared the same, in every respect, 
as any other corpse. 

William and Samuel Frost, servants, deposed, that the evening and morn- 
ing preceding his death, the deceased appeared to them to be in good health 
and spirits. 

Mr. Wilmer, a surgeon, one of the professional gentlemen who declined 
opening the body in the first instance, because its putridity rendered satisfac- 
tion from the operation hopelras, now deposed, that such had been his expressed 
opinion; and further, that being present at the opening of the body when 



disinterred, he found all the contents of the abdomen, or lower belly, more 
or less inflamed, and putrid ; the upper part of the intestinal canal more in- 
flamed than the lower part; the texture of the kidneys destroyed, and the 
internal substance bloody, and of a red colour ; the omentum, or caul, tender 
in its texture, and inflamed ; the liver smaller than usual, and soft in its tex- 
ture ; the stomach much altered from its natural state, but not so much in- 
flamed as the parts in its neighbourhood ; that it contained somewhat less 
than an ounce of brown coloured thick fluid, which, when taken out and 
examined in a basin, discovered no grittiness, or any metallic particles ; that 
the midriff was particularly inflamed; the lungs putrid and inflamed, and in 
some parts black, and on each side of the lungs, in the cavity of the thorax, or 
chest, was about a pint of extravasated blood in a fluid state. Mr. Wilmer 
further averred, that he had seen the mixture furnished by Mr. Powell, and 
that such draught or mixture could not, at any time, occasion the death of 
the deceased ; and that, for the reasons before suggested by him, he was 
induced to believe that it was " then impossible to tell what occasioned the de- 
ceased's death.'''' 

Dr. Rattray corroborated the whole of the above ; but added, that he be- 
lieved, from the deposition of lady Boughton, that the medicine administered 
by her caused the death of her son. 

Mr. Snow, a surgeon, merely confirmed the depositions of Mr. Wilmer 
and Doctor Rattray generally. 

Mr. Bucknill deposed to the same purpose, with the additional confirmation 
of Dr. Rattray's opinion, as to the draught administered by lady Boughton 
being the immediate cause of her son's death. 

Such was the result of the first day's examination before the coroner, which 
was thought to afford little that was conclusive against captain Donellan ; 
but an opinion was nevertheless formed there, that lady Boughton was over- 
awed by her son-in-law, and the next day, at the adjourned examination, the 
result of some recent operation upon her mind was very manifest ; for her first 
account of the conduct of captain Donellan with respect to rinsing the phials, 
was thus materially, and for him, fatally modified. 

Without reference to her former statement, " that Mr. Donellan put water 
into the bottle, and poured it and the settling of the water nut together ,- put his 
finger into it, and informed her that it had a nauseous taste,'''' lady Boughton 
now declared, that when captain Donellan was told of the effect of the medi- 
cine upon the deceased, he asked where the bottle was that had contained it; 
and upon it being pointed out to him, he " swilled the bottle out with water, 
and threw the water and the medicine which was left at the bottom of the 
bottle, upon the ground.''"' That upon her expressing her surprise that he 
should do so, he said, that it was in order to taste it; but that he did not taste 
it, but proceeded to empty a second bottle, which stood upon the deceased's 
mantle-piece, but what was contained therein she knew not. That after 
throwing away the contents of the second bottle, captain Donellan ordered 
Sarah Blundell, who was then in the room, to take the same away; but that 
examinant objected to such removal, and desired the servant to leave them 
where they were; that captain Donellan, however, still persisted in his or- 
ders; and she believed they were removed accordingly. Lady Boughton 
further observed, that upon her return home from the last examination, cap- 
tain Donellan, who had heard it taken, had expressed surprise and displea- 
sure at her then deposing that he had rinsed the bottles, and told her that she 
was only obliged to answer such questions as should be asked. That she 
had heard captain Donellan advise her son to keep his medicine in his first 
room, and not in an inner room, which he kept locked ; whereas any part of 
the family might have access to the former. Finally, she deposes that the 
circumstance of the said captain Donellan's swilling the bottles, led her to 
suppose " that some unfair dealings had been carried on respecting her son, and 
that he had died by the medicine she had given him." 

t Ai. 


> ' The most trifling inconsistency of captain Donellan was observed with an 

^ animus decidedly against him ; but what can account for the conduct of this 

extraordinary old lady — not with respect to the manifest opposition of her 
two depositions — it may be admitted, that she was overawed in the first in- 
stance ; but what is to be pleaded for a mother who imagined that her son 
died by a medicine administered by herself, who, from the deportment of 
captain Donellan, was led to suspect " unfair dealings" on his part, and 
who yet left every subsequent arrangement which could advance or retard 
discovery, to the person so suspected, without the slightest remonstrance or 
Vp.'^»* interference ! 

This evidence, which was corroborated by Sarah Blundell, in the particu- 
lar fact of her being ordered to take away the bottles, and clean the room, by 
captain Donellan, was conclusive; the coroner's jury, and it could do no 
otherwise, brought in a verdict of wilful murder against him, and he was 
immediately committed for trial. 

Unfortunately for captain Donellan, in consequence of the assizes having 
been recently concluded, his trial did not come on until seven months after 
the alleged offence, during which interval the popular odium was excited 
against him to an unprecedented degree. The most virtuous emotions, when 
guided principally by impulse, are not unfrequently the most unjust, and so 
in the present instance they proved to be. The horror inspired by the pro- 
bability of a domestic perfidy so atrocious, as the murder imputed to the 
unhappy prisoner, and an eagerness to punish it, seemed to overwhelm the 
impartiality of the whole community. They might be said to operate where 
they never should operate, in the court of justice itself; judge, jury, and 
witnesses seemed to be carried away by them ; they appeared to animate the 
counsel for conviction, and to paralyze that for defence. To detail the whole 
of the proceedings upon a trial so complicated would be useless. This 
sketch will therefore confine itself to a species of commentary upon the evi- 
dence, not only as delivered, but as subsequently corrected by notorious fact, 
not with a view of rivalling the sagacious judge who presided, but for the 
« honest purpose of adding to the weight of opinion now existing against a too 

great latitude of presumption, in convicting upon what is popularly termed, 
circumstuntial evidence. 

Mr. Powell, the apothecary, who was first called, proved, as before, the 
nature of the draughts sent by him to sir Theodosius Boughlon, and de- 
scribed him to have heen at the time slightly indisposed of a venereal com- 
plaint, and that he gave him nothing but cooling physic and an embrocation. 
That when he reached Lawford Hall, in consequence of an express inform- 
ing him of the dangerous state of sir Theodosius, the latter had been dead 
an hour; that he met captain Donellan in the court-yard, who went with him 
to see the corpse, in which he observed nothing particular; that upon asking 
how the deceased died, the captain replied, in convulsions, but put no ques- 
tions to him in return ; and that the general intent of the prisoner seemed to 
be to carry an idea that sir Theodosius had taken cold. 

The evidence of lady Boughton on the trial varied as materially from both 
her depositions before the coroner, as one of them differed from the other. 
The general substance of her evidence, as atTecting the prisoner at the bar, 
may be reduced to the following points: 

That Mrs. Donellan would inherit £1200 per annum by the death of Theo- 

That when lady Boughton once talked of quitting Lawford Hall, the pri- 
soner advised her not to do so, as her son was in a bad state of health, and 
she knew not what might happen — a prediction which her ladyship then un- 
derstood to allude to the danger incurred by sir Theodosius in hunting. 

That her son was about to receive a week's visit from a Mr. Fonnereau, 
and to depart with him on a visit in return. 

That one day captain Donellan, in her hearing, advised sir Theodosius to 



keep his medicines in his chamber, which was always open, rather than in an 
inner room, which was usually locked. 

That captain Donellan was absent from his wife and lady Boughton on the 
evening when the medicines arrived, and accounted for his absence by saying 
he had been to see sir Theodosius fishing. 

That upon captain Donellan's coming into the room, and asking in what 
manner sir Theodosius was taken ill, he was shown the two draughts sent 
by Mr. Powell, the last of which had proved so fatal ; that he took up one 
of them, and said, " /s this it?'''' and upon being answered yes, poured some 
water out of a water bottle into the phial, shook it, and then emptied it out \ r ^L 
into some dirty water, which was in a wash-hand basin. That her ladyship 
observed to him, that he ought not to do so ; but that he immediately snatched 
the other bottle, poured water into it, and shook it, and then put his finger to 
it and tasted it, saying, when remonstrated with upon the impropriety of 
meddling with the bottles, that he did it to taste the contents, but that he did 
not taste the rinsings of the first phial at all. ' 

That the prisoner desired Sarah Blundell to take away the basin, the dirty 
things, and the bottles, and that he put the bottles into her hands; that her 
ladyship directed the servant to let the things alone, and took them from her; 
but that the prisoner, while her back was turned, gave the bottles to her again, 
as the said servant, who is since dead, informed her ; that, previous to this 
second order, he had also directed that the room might be cleaned, and the 
clothes thrown into an inner room. 

That daring the whole of the foregoing scene, sir Theodosius was no*; 
entirely dead. 

That some time afterwards, when her ladyship went into the parlour, cap- 
tain Donellan observed to his wife, in her presence, that her mother had been 
pleased to take notice of his washing the bottles out, and that he did not 
know what he should have done if he had not thought of saying he put the 
water into it to put his finger to it to taste it. That her ladyship turned 
away to the window without reply, upon which he repeated the foregoing 
observation, and rang for the coachman to prove the time of his going out 
that morning. »'•' 

That upon returning from the first examination before the coroner, cap- ,^ 

tain Donellan said to his wife, before her ladyship, that she (lady Boughton) 
had no occasion to have mentioned his washing the bottle; and that she 
should only have answered the questions put to her. 

Mary Lynes, the housekeeper, proved, that captain Donellan frequently 
amused himself with distilling roses ; and Francis Amos, gardener, that he 
had brought him a still, with wet lime in it, to clean, a few days after the 
young baronet's death. 

William Croft, one of the coroner's jury, swore that he saw the prisoner 
pull lady Boughton by the sleeve when she first deposed that he had rinsed 
the phial. 

Sir William Wheeler proved the tenor of his correspondence with captain 
Donellan, relative to opening the body, as already related. 

The three professional gentlemen who first attended to open the body, de- 
posed, that they would have done so, at all events, had they been informed 
that poison was suspected ; the}' also described the poisonous nature of laurel 
ivater, and proved that its effects upon animal life were similar to those of the 
draughts given to sir Theodosius. They also gave a positive opinion that 
the deceased died by a poisonous draught administered by lady Boughton, 
and that the appearance of the body was such as might follow the swallow- 
ing of a strong vegetable poison. 

Doctors Ashe and Parsons, celebrated physicians, corroborated the opinions 
of the foregoing witnesses. 

Mr. Bucknill, the surgeon who had volunteered to operate in the first in- 


stance, related his first and second visit to Lawford Hall, to open the body 
as already detailed. 

Such was the tenor of the substantial evidence for the prosecution, the 
irrelevant it is unnecessary to notice. 

To take the allegations in order, Mr. Powell, after proving the innocency 
of his own prescription, asserted, that the disorder of sir Theodosius was 
slight, and that he gave him nothing but cooling physic and an embrocation. 
This testimony, though apparently indiiferent as it regarded the guilt or in- 
nocence of the prisoner, materially injured him, as it seemed to contradict 
his frequent allusions to his brother-in-law's irregularity, and to suggest that 
his motive for such imputation was to prepare expectation for his death. 
But the fact was, that this medical gentleman, though his answers in court 
seemed to confine his prescriptions to cooling physic and an embrocation, 
had administered bolusses of calomel — and, in fact, treated a venereal patient 
as venereal patients are usually treated. Respect for family feelings is pro- 
jierm a medical man; but a regard to social justice is necessary. Neither 
was the behaviour of captain Donellan to this gentleman, when called in by 
express, more remarkable than his own, or that of lady Boughton, who joined 
them in the bed-room almost immediately. The captain told him that the 
deceased died in convulsions, but put no questions in return, neither did her 
ladyship ; and the apothecary himself possessed similar apathy ; for though 
death had apparently followed one of his own prescriptions, he acknowledged 
in court that he dicl not inquire how soon the convulsions ensued. Moreover, 
this important visit and double conversation took up ten minutes. 

With respect to the evidence of lady Boughton, it first proves the interest 
of the prisoner in the death of his brotlier-in-law : this may be admitted ; 
but still it ought to be understood that it was not so great as the world ima- 
gined. He had only Mrs. Donellan's life in the estate, which was deeply 
encumbered, except as the guardian of his children ; on the other hand, by 
the survival of sir Theodosius, he would have secured church preferment to 
the amount of five hundred pounds per annum. 

The next point was, his advising lady Boughton not to leave Lawford Hall 
on account of her son's ill health, as she knew not what might happen. 
Her ladyship thought this prediction alluded to the danger incurred by sir 
Theodosius in hunting — but what lias ill health to do with hunting? It is 
shocking to see a wish to conceal from the world, that an intemperate young 
man had injured his constitution, furnishing a foundation for surmises aftect- 
ing the life of an individual. To say nothing of the absurdity of coupling 
ill health with hunting — w^iat was there in this testimony to impeach captain 
Donellan ] Her ladyship deposed that upon another occasion, the prisoner 
recommended her not to drink after sii Theodosius, on account of the nature 
of his medicines. Could he have thus addressed a mother who was uncon- 
scious of her son's irregularities — a mother, too, who frequently administered 
physic to that son herself? Another conversation of the same tendency was 
deposed to by a clergyman of the name of Newsam ; but again, it may be 
said, what do these observations signify, backed as they were by facts'? — 
they may indicate a want of generosity and delicacy, probably, but certainly 
do noX j}rove an intention, on the part of the prophet, to hasten the fulfilment 
of his own predictions. 

The next point deposed to by lady Boughton was, that her son was about 
to receive a visit from a Mr. Fonnereau, and to return it. Nothing can more 
clearly show the shadowy nature of many of the surmises against the pri- 
soner, than the inference sought for from this fact. It appears that a report 
existed in the country that sir Theodosius admired Miss Fonnereau, and 
therefore captain Donellan hastened to poison him before he went. 

Then follows captain Donellan's advice to sir Theodosius to keep his medi- 
cines in his open chamber. 'I'he latter acknowledges to some such advice, 
but very naturally accounts for it; sir Theodosius made up poisons for rats, 


&c., and told him and lady Boughton that he had nearly taken some of it 
himself instead of physic, upon which he was recommended to keep his 
physic and his poison separate. 

The succeeding allegation of lady Boughton proved very fatal to the pri- 
soner; namely, that he was absent during the afternoon the draughts arrived, 
and that when he returned, he said he had been to see sir Theodosius fishing. 
That he had not been to see the fishing party was clearly proved ; and cap- 
tain Donellan denied that he had said so, and instructed his counsel to call 
two persons of the name of Dand and Matthews, to show that he w^as in 
conversation with them during the whole of his absence; but this the counsel 
did not do, fearing they would not be able to prove all the time. Of this 
neglect the prisoner very bitterly complained ; and his very respectable soli- 
citors, in a publication given to the world after his execution, testified that 
the evidence of the men in question would have materially contradicted that 
of lady Boughton. 

The principal fact, however, deposed to by lady Boughton, was the rinsing 
of the phials. Her various and contradictory accounts of this transaction 
before the coroner and the court have been detailed. The prisoner himself 
accounted for it, by saying, that when informed by lady Boughton of what 
had happened, he asked her what she had given to her son, and where the 
bottle was, and, upon its being pointed out to him, took it, and held it up to 
the light; and finding it apparently clean and dry, put a tea-spoonful of water 
into it, rinsed it well, and poured it into a small white basin then on the table, 
in order to taste it with his finger, which he did several times, and declared 
it very nauseous. That he also tasted several more medicines, which stood 
on the mantel-piece, on which there were many phials, gallipots, &c. which 
smelt very offensively; and observing lady Boughton begin to put the room 
in order, he told Sarah Blundell to help her ladyship, and particularly to 
remove a chamber-pan. That happening to stand near the chimney-piece, 
when she began to take away the phials, he very innocently handed some to 
her, &c. &c. 

Now it is not for a moment contended, that this account of an accused per- 
son is to be weighed against that of a competent and clear-headed witness ; 
but could an elderly lady be called such, who, on her first examination, men- 
tions his xinsina; one jihial only, ?lx\A on the second, swears circumstantially 
to two ; on the former, that he tasted the contents of the only phial that he 
rinsed, and declared the taste of them ; on the latter, that he rinsed two and 
tasted neither. On that, she swore generally that he poured the water out, 
but with an apparent intimation that it was poured into some vessel, into 
which he put his finger: on this she expressly declares that the contents of 
the first phial were thrown upon the ground ,- and indefinitely, that the con- 
tents of another were throvvn away — there he actually tastes the contents 
of the bottle, here, after rinsing the first, he only says that he did so to taste 

So much for the contradictions before the coroner; the testimony of lady 
Boughton in court was equally inconsistent with the most formidable of these 
depositions. The only point in which these two last correspond is, that two 
phials were rinsed, and this correspondence serves only to make the other 
circumstance more plainly incompatible ; for the water from both phials, by 
the written testimony, was thrown upon the ground ; by the oral, was poured 
into a basin of dirty water; by that, neither was tasted; by this, the last cer- 
tainly was. On the former occasion, her ladyship swore that captain Donel- 
lan threw something out of a second bottle, which stood upon the deceased's 
mantel-piece, and that she did not know the contents. On the latter, that he 
poured water into the other bottle, and emptied it out. Finally, before the 
coroner, she stated, that the apology, '■^ I did it to taste ;7," was made by 
captain Donellan on her remonstrance, after his rinsing Xhe first phial; and 
on the trial swears, that he spoke those words after rinsing the second, in 


consequence of some words from her, which in the depositions are not men- 
tioned at all, ai.d that he gave no answer whatever to herjirst expostula- 
tions. Not one of which inconsistencies were pointed out, either by judge 
or counsel. 

Of the fact, that captain Donellan ordered Sarah Blundell to clear the 
room, his own account has been stated, that he was angry at her for not im- 
mediately obeying him, rests upon lady Boughton's testimony, that Sarah 
Blundell told her so — all she herself could speak to was, that they were 
taken out, but she knew not exactly when. Sarah BlundelTs deposition be- 
fore the coroner only states generally, that captain Donellan ordered her to 
clear the room, and assisted her to take away the bottles. Sarah Blundell 
died before the trial. 

The next circumstance deposed against the prisoner was, that he said to 
Mrs. Donellan, in her presence, that her ladyship had found fault with him 
for rinsing the bottks, and that he did not know what he should have done if 
he had not thought of saying "he put the water into // to put his finger in to 
taste //." That captain Donellan used these exact words is very unlikely, 
as they are both ungrammatical and absurd, not to mention the weakness of 
such an admission. That he alluded, however, to the circumstance, is very 
probable; but how is it possible to rely on the memory of lady Boughton 
for this event, who made no mention of the circumstance before the coroner, 
and yet positively swore in court, both directly, and on cross-examination, 
that she had done so. 

That captain Donellan blamed lady Boughton for deposing before the coro- 
ner to his rinsing the phials, and that he told her she needed only to have 
answered such questions as were put to her, was not denied by him, though 
the testimony of the juryman, as to his pulling her sleeve at that particular 
moment, he asserted to be incorrect. Lady Boughton could have decided 
the last point, but was not examined on it by either counsel ; but, admitting 
both the facts, they prove but little. An innocent man, if not perfectly ac- 
quainted with the obligation of an oath in judicial inquiries, speaking to a 
supposed friend, might naturally so argue. Grant for a moment the unfortu- 
nate man was innocent — he had inconsiderately rinsed a phial to taste it, and 
found it rendered him suspected of murder; he believes lady Boughton 
satisfied of his innocence, and therefore, thinks, that in divulging a fact 
which might subject him to unmerited imputation, she acted unfriendly. 
All this is as consistent with the warmth of innocence as with the alarm 
of guilt. 

Mary Lynes, the housekeeper, proved that captain Donellan sometimes dis- 
tilled roses and lavender ; and Francis Amos, gardener, that a few days after 
the death of sir Theodosius, he brought him a still, with wet lime in it, to 
clean. Of these points presently. 

The tenor of the correspondence proved by sir William Wheeler has been 
already related. It certainly shows that captain Donellan was not anxious to 
have the body opened, neither was lady Boughton. ^Moreover, when the 
operators attended, he did not tell them that poison was suspected, or show 
that letter from sir William Wheeler which pointedly said so — but another, 
which conveyed the same meaning less forciljly — or, in other words, which 
simply stated that it was necessary to give the public satisfaction. Again, 
he did not accept of a voluntary offer to operate, after three gentlemen had 
declared such operation useless and dangerous; and finally, when two gen- 
tlemen accidentally missed each other, and one of them declined opening 
the body, and, as agent of sir Williaur Wheeler, authorized the funeral, that 
the prisoner sent the other awa}'. In answer to all this, it is necessary to say 
little more, than that many persons, as well as captain Donellan, might not 
like to expatiate upon a suspicion of poison, which could only attach to them 
selves; and that, after his imprudence with respect to the phials, even an 
innocent man would be glad to get the funeral over. 


The testimony of the three medical gentlemen, that they would have 
opened the body at all risks, if ihey had been aware of the suspicion of 
poison, must be implicitly admitted, though a little at variance with their 
declarations, that the body was too putrid to decide upon the case. That the 
same gentlemen, with Doctors Parsons and Ashe, believed that the draught 
administered by lady Boughton, caused the death of her son, must also be 
admitted ; and that laurel water is a poison, cannot be denied. But the 
correctness of the opinions and deductions of this medical junto was con- 
troverted by a testimony of far greater weight than those of all of them 

But first, the reader will very naturally inquire, what laurel water has to 
do in this case ? Briefly, then : Captain Donellan, as may be seen from the 
testimony of the housekeeper and gardener, sometimes amused himself by 
distilling from roses and lavender, with a still in the possession of the family. 
Lady Boughton, although she described the draught administered as smelling 
very nauseous, also resembled its odour to that of bitter almonds, which 
scent is not nauseous, but peculiarly characteristic of laurel water; and gene- 
rally speaking, its effects upon animal life were proved not to be dissimilar 
to the sufferings of the deceased. Ergo, laurel water poisoned sir Theodo- 
sius Boughton: the strangeness of this inference, at least as conclusive, will 
appear more strongly, when it is stated to have been so entirely an after- 
thought, tliat the indictment called the poison arsenic, and the most lively of 
the medical gentlemen had as strongly decided upon that presumption, as 
upon the one subsequently preferred. Witb respect to the distillation of 
laurel water by captain Donellan, no proof of any kind was offered, other 
than that some days after the death of sir Theodosius, he gave a still, with 
wet lime in it, to the gardener to clean, which wet lime was held to be placed 
there for the purpose of carrying away the smell of his poisonous operations. 
According to the prisoner himself, this lime water was intended to wet his 
bedstead, and those of his children, to kill the vermin, and the still was 
merely used as an utensil to hold it; for the truth of which statement he ap- 
pealed to the female servants, who had often seen him so employ it. He also 
acknowledged, that he had sometimes used laurel leaves, with other ingre- 
dients, as a bath for his feet, agreeably to a printed recipe, in a book entitled 
"The Toilet of Flora." 

Will it be credited that on such a string of negation and surmise, the em- 
ployment of laurel water, against sir Theodosius Boughton, seems on the 
trial to have been taken for granted 1 

The evidence for the prosecution alone has been yet attended to ; that for 
the defence was very brief, but cogent. In the first place, it was proved that 
captain Donellan had more than once interfered to make up quarrels for sir 
Theodosius, which might have been attended with danger. In the second, 
there was the testimony of the celebrated John Hunter, which may be held 
out as a beautiful specimen of the caution required in the delivery of pro- 
fessional opinions, and of the calm resolution with which science should 
maintain its decisions in the face of authority, whether partial, prejudiced, 
or overbearing. 

The cross-examination of the eminent surgeon. Hunter, was still more de- 
cided — simply admitting that death following the taking of a draught was 
suspicious, he wholly denied that it was necessarily caused by it; and as- 
serted that any symptom and appearance on opening the body of the deceas- 
ed, or, as described by lady Boughton, might be furnished by the epilepsy 
or apoplexy. As the father of sir Theodosius died of the latter disorder, he 
was asked if it were likely to attack a thin young man, under a course of 
cooling physic ; he answered certainly not so likely ; but that he had known 
two instances of young women dying of apoplexy. 

This testimony, though that of a man whom all Europe regarded as an 
oracle in his profession, did not avail ; the judge chose to consider it as one 



to four, and captain Donellan was convicted of poisoning by laurel water, 
because a draugiit smelt like bitter almonds, and executed for a death which 
no one had proved a murder. 

It will be seen that all the presumptions formed against the prisoner, in 
this striking case, arose out of a conduct which exhibited what every one 
might term uneasiness, but which the multitude called conscious guilt. The 
truth was, captain Donellan soon perceived that he was sus])ected ; and in- 
deed suspicion, on the ground that interest is the ruck of the accused, could 
fall on no one else. The rinsing of the phials was, doubtless, a suspicious 
fact; but testified as it was, by a witness a thousand times more inconsistent 
than the prisoner ; whether it was done to taste the fatal potion or not, is left 
wholly inconclusive. Lady Boughton says, that this foolish action — foolish, 
if he was innocent, but insane if he was guilty — alarmed her at the time, 
and something she doubtless said about it, but she must have been soon 
satisfied, for it neither induced her to act or to remonstrate any further. To 
have her son opened, even when a suspicion of poison became genrral, she 
thought of no use; she never interested herself to talk with the professional 
gentlemen on the subject, but left every thing to the person suspected. When 
at last, set about recollecting every minute particular against captain Donel- 
lan by the surrounding gentry, alarmed at the blame imputable to herself, 
she deposed to transactions in haste, and incoherently, and never agreed twice 
in the most important part of her testimony. That the inconsistencies of this 
lady, though doubtless unintentional, should not have been urged on the trial, 
was peculiarly unfortunate for the prisoner ; but captain Donellan's counsel 
strangely omitted to notice thein. 

All the other alleged instances of conscious guilt displayed by this un- 
happy gentleman, may be as naturally referred to the uneasiness of a mind, 
tortured by suspicion, and dreading imputation as to actual guilt, and conse- 
quently afford no conclusion. It is a fine thing to expatiate upon the security 
of conscious innocence; but every man of worldly experience knows how 
much it may be confounded by general suspicion, and consequently how tor- 
tuous and evasive it may become. The compiler of this article once saw a 
well-informed individual under a suspended accusation of several days, and 
he evinced every acknowledged sign of conscious guilt that can be named, 
even until his pretensions to innocence excited roars of laughter ; and yet, 
innocent he was, after all. 

It is not, however, the object of this statement to assert the innocence of 
captain Donellan, but to show that he was convicted upon a species of evi- 
dence the most fallacious and inconclusive. It is pleasant for a judge to 
assert, as in this instance, that presumption from circumstances is as strong 
as positive testimony; while experience shows that innocence has frequently 
fallen a sacrifice to the one, and but seldom to the other. 

A late very acute publication, on the theory of presumptive evidence, thus 
argues on the case of captain Donellan. 

" When the judgment of the law is passed in reference to a certain thing, 
the existence of that thing sliould be first clearly made to appear. 

"The fiict of poisoning ought to have been established, beyond a shadow 
of doubt, before any person was convicted as the poisoner. 

"But the jury, it will be eaid, were satisfied on this point. Had the evi- 
dence been duly summed up by the judge ; had they been told, as they ought 
to have been, that in experimental ])hilosophy, such as tracing the effects of 
a particular poison, in tracing the causes, so many and so complicated, that 
lead to death, if the experiment is defective, if the process is vitiated in one 
instance, the result is also vitiated and defective. Every practitioner in phi- 
losophy is sensible and aware of this truth ; and whenever he finds that he 
has erred in his experiment, he sets the case aside, as affording no satisfac- 
tory result, and renews his process in another subject. 

" But, unfortunately, it is a matter of pride in some men to be always car- 


tain in their opinion, and to appear beyond the influence of doubt. Very 
different was the practice of that modest and eminent man who gave his evi- 
dence on this trial; he was accustomed to the fallaciousness of appearances, 
to the danger of hasty inferences from imperfect proofs, and refused to give 
his assent to an opinion, without facts being first produced to support it. 'If 
I knew,' said Mr. Hunter, ' that the draught was poison, I should say, most 
probably, that the symptoms arose from that ; but when I don't know that the 
draught was poison, when I consider that a number of other things might 
occasion his death, I cannot answer positively to it.' 

"During the whole course of this celebrated trial, there was not a single 
fact established by evidence, except the death, and the convulsive appear- . 
ances at the moment. These appearances, Mr. Hunter declared, afforded no , 
suspicion v/hatever of poison, and were generally incident to sudden death, 
in what might be called a state of health ; not only there was no fact proved, 
but there was not one single circumstance proved. One circumstance was \' 
supposed from another equally suppositious, and from two fictions united a \ 
third was produced. All proof should commence at a fixed point; the law i 
never admits of an inference from an inference. The question is never as to i 
what a thing is like ; but the witness must swear to his belief, as to what it -^ 
is. The circumstance is always a fact; the presumption is the inference 
drawn from that fact. It is hence called presumptive proof, because it pro- 'v 
ceeds merely on opinion. But the circumstance itself is never to be pre- \ 
sumed, but must be substantively proved. If it was not laurel water that } 
sir Theodosius drank, the proof fails as to the effect; and, certainly, some 
of the usual proofs, some of the common indicia, or marks, should have been 
established. When did the prisoner procure it] From whom did he obtain 
it? Where, and at what time — and by whom, or how did he administer hi -^ 
Nothing of this kind was proved. * 

"But the accused, it is said, furnished the proof against himself, by his ' 
own distrust of his innocence. He, no doubt, betrayed great apprehensions 
of being charged with the murder; but is an innocent man never afraid of 
being thought guilty? 

" We readily recognise all the general truisms and commonplace observa- \ 
tions, as to the confidence of innocence, and the consciousness of guilt ; but 
we find from history, that innocence loses its confidence when oppressed 
with prejudice ; and that men have been convicted of crimes which they 
never committed, from the very means which they have taken to clear them- 

The author then relates a celebrated instance from Hale's Pleas of the 
Crown, V. 2, p. 290. 

It remains but to observe, that captain Donellan suffered pursuant to his 
sentence, on the 1st of April, 1781, at Warwick; that he died with perfect 
resignation, and uttered solemn protestations of innocence to the last mo- 
ments of his life. From papers left behind him for the purpose, a very elabo- 
rate and well written defence was composed, and published almost imme- 
diately after his death ; it produced a great sensation at the time, and it is 
believed the most eminent lawyers have latterly regarded this conviction with 
distaste. It is from the documents in question, and the authenticated trial, that 
this statement has been drawn up for the present work, in which it properly 
finds a place, but could not conscientiously be given, without protesting 
against the conviction as a precedent for the sound administration of justice. 




The arraig-timent of sir Walter Raleigh, knio-ht, at Winchester, Thursday, 
17th of Noveinher, anno 1G03, before the right honourable Henry Howard, 
earl of Suffolk, lord-chamberlain ; Charles Blunt, earl of Devonshire ; lord 
Henry Howard, afterwards earl of Northampton ; Robert Cecil, earl of Salis- 
bury ; Edward lord Wooton, of Marley ; sir John Stanhope, vice-chamber- 
lain; lord chief-justice of England, Pojiham ; lord chief-justice of the com- 
mon pleas, Anderson ; Mr. Justice Giaudie, Mr. Justice W"arljurton, and 
sir W'illiam Wade, commissioners. 

Sir Walter being brought to the bar, he sat down upon a stool, within the 
place made on purpose for the prisoner to be in while waiting the coming of 
the lords. During which time he saluted divers of his acquaintance with a 
very cheerful countenance : when the commissioners were all met, having 
stood up a while, he desired the marshal to ask leave of the lords that he 
might sit, which was granted him ; and then they proceeded to the arraign- 

First, The commission of oyer and terminer was read by the clerk of the 
crown-office ; and the prisoner commanded to hold up his hand. 

The indictment was then read, which was in effect as follows : — 

" That he did conspire and go about to deprive the king of his government ; 
to raise up sedition within the realm; to alter religion, to bring in the Ro- 
man superstition, and to procure foreign enemies to invade the kingdom. 
That the lord Cobham, the ninth of June last, did meet with the said sir 
Walter Raleigh in Durham-house, in the parish of St. Martins in the Fields, 
and then and there had conference with him how to advance Arabella Stewart 
to the crown and the royal throne of this kingdom ; and then and there it was 
agreed that Cobham should treat with Aremberg, ambassador from the arch- 
duke of Austria, to obtain of him 600,000 crowns, to bring to pass their in- 
tended treasons. It was agreed that Cobham should go to the archduke 
Albert, to procure him to advance the pretended title of Arabella ; from 
thence knowing that Albert had not sufficient means to maintain his own 
army in the Low Countries, Cobham should go to Spain to procure the king 
to assist and further her pretended title. 

" It was agreed, the better to effect all this conspiracy, that Arabella 
should write three letters ; one to the archduke, another to the king of Spain, 
and another to the duke of Savoy, and proiTiise three things : first, to establish 
firm peace between England and Spain. Secondly, to tolerate the popish 
and Roman superstition. Thirdly, to be ruled by them in the contracting 
of her marriage. 

" And for the effecting these traitorous purposes, Cobham should return by 
the isle of Jersey, and should find sir Walter Raleigh captain of the said isle 
there, and take counsel of Raleigh for the distributing of the aforesaid 
crowns, as the occasion or discontentment of the subjects should give cause 
and way. 

"And further, that Cobham and his brother Brook met on the 9th of Jane 
last, and Cobham told Brook all these treasons; to the which treasons Brook 
gave his assent, and did join himself to all these ; and after, on the Thursday 
following, Cobliam and Brook did speak these words ; ' That there would 
never be a good world in England, till the king (meaning our sovereign 
lord) and his cubs (meaiung his royal issue) were taken away.' 

" And the more to disable and deprive the king of his crown, and to con- 
firm the said Cobham in his intents, Raleigh did publish a book, falsely 


written against the most just and royal title of the king, knowing the said 
book to be written against the just title of the king ; which book Cobham 
afterwards received of him. Further, for the better effecting these traitorous 
purposes, and to establish the said Brook in his intent, the said Cobham did 
deliver the said book unto him on the 14th of June. And further, the said 
Cobham, on the 16th of June, for accomplishment of the said conference, and 
by the traitorous instigation of Raleigh, did move Brook to incite Arabella to 
write to the forenamed princes, to procure them to advance her title : and 
that she, after she had obtained the crown, should promise to perform three 
things, viz. 1. Peace between England and Spain. 2. To tolerate with 
impunity the popish and Roman superstitions. 3. To be ruled by them 
three in the contracting of her marriage. 

" To these motions the said Brook gave his assent. And for the better 
effecting of the said treasons, Cobham, on the 17th of June, by the instiga- 
tion of Raleigh, did write letters to count Aremberg, and did deliver the 
said letters to one INIatthew de Lawrency, to be delivered to the said count ; 
which he did deliver for the obtaining of the 600,000 crowns ; which money, 
by other letters, count Aremberg did promise to perform the payment of; and 
this letter Cobham received the 18th of June. And then did Cobham pro- 
mise to Raleigh, that when he had received the said money, he would deliver 
8000 crowns to him, to which motion he did consent; and afterwards Cob- 
ham offered Brook, that after he should receive the said crowns, he would 
give to him 10,000 thereof; to which motion Brook did assent." 

To this indictment sir Walter Raleigh pleaded not guilty. 

The Jury Sir Ralph Conisby, sir Thomas Fowler, sir Edward Peacock, 

and sir William Rowe, knights; Henry Goodyear, Roger Wood, Thomas 
Walker, and Thomas Whitby, esquires ; Thomas Highgate, Robert Kempthon, 
John C hawkey, Robert Brumley, gentlemen. 

Sir Walter Raleigh, prisoner, was asked whether he would take excep- 
tions to any of the jury. 

Raleigh. — It is my firm opinion that they are all Christians, and honest 
gentlemen ; I object against none. 

E. Suff. — You, gentlemen of the king's learned counsel, follow the course 
you may deem most expedient. 

Raleigh. — My lord, I pray you I may answer the points particularly as 
they are delivered, by reason of the weakness of my memory and sickness. 

Pophani, chief-justice. — After the king's learned counsel have delivered all 
the evidence, sir Walter, you may answer particularly to what you will. 

Heal, the king's sergeant at law. — You have all heard of Raleigh's bloody 
attempts to kill the king and his royal progeny, and in place thereof to 
advance one Arabella Stewart ; the particulars of the indictment are these : 
First, that Raleigh met with Cobham the 9th of June, and had conference 
of an invasion, of a rebellion, and an insurrection, to be made by the king's 
subjects, to depose the king and to kill his children. But as money was re- 
quired to do this, for money is the sinew of war, count Aremberg was to 
procure of Philip, king of Spain, five or six hundred thousand crowns, and 
out of this sum Raleigh was to have eight thousand. Then there must be 
friends to effect this ; Cobham was to set out to Albert, archduke of Austria, 
for whom Aremberg was ambassador at that time in England, and persuade 
the duke to assist the pretended title of Arabella. From thence he was to 
depart to the king of Spain, and persuade him likewise to assist the said title. 
Since the conquest there was never the like treason. But out of whose head 
came it ] — out of Raleigh's, who also advised Cobham to use his brother 
Brook to incite the lady Arabella to write three several letters as aforesaid in 
the indictment ; all this was on the 9th of June. After this Cobham said to 
Brook, it will never be well in England till the king and his cubs are taken 
away. Afterwards Raleigh delivered a book to Cobham, traitorously written 
against the title of the king. Now whether these things were bred in a 



hollow tree, I leave to them to speak of, who can speak far better than myself. 
And thereupon he sat down again. 

Sir Edward Cuok, the king's attorney. — I must first, my lords, before I 
come to the cause, give one caution, because we sliall often mention persons 
of eminent places, some of them great monarclis ; whatever we say of them 
we shall but repeat what others have said of them ; I mean the capital 
otTenders in their confessions : we professing law, must speak reverently of 
kings and potentates. I perceive these honourable lords, and the rest of this 
great assembly, are come to hear what has been scattered upon the wreck of 
report. We carry a just mind to condemn no rmin but upon plain evidence. 
Here is mischief, mischief in summo gradu, exorbitant mischief. My 
speech shall chiefly touch these three points; imitation, supportation, and 

The imitation of evil ever exceeds the precedent; as, on the contrary, 
imitation of good ever comes short. Mischief cannot be supjjorted but by 
miscliief ; yea, it will so multiply that it will bring all to confusion. Mis- 
chief is ever underpropped by falsehood or foul practices. And because all 
these things did concur in this treason, you shall understand the main, as 
before you did the bye. 

The treason of the bye consisteth in these points : first, that the lords Grey, 
Brook, Markham, and the rest, intended, by force, in the night, to surprise 
the king's court; which was a rebellion in the heart of the realm, yea, in the 
heart of the heart — in the court. They intended to take him that is a sove- 
reign, to make him subject to their power, proposing to open the doors with 
muskets and calievers, and to take also the prince and council. Then, under 
the king's authority, to carry the king to the Tower ; and to make a stale of 
the admiral. When they had the king there, to extort three things froni him : 
first, a pardon for all iheir treasons. Secondly, a toleration of the Roaiaa 
superstition; which, their eyes shall sooner fall out than they shall ever see ; 
for the king hath spoken these words in the hearing of many, " 1 will lose the 
crown and my life, before I will ever alter religion." And thirdly, to remove 
counsellors. In the room of the lord-chancellor, they would have placed one 
Watson, a priest, absurd in humanity, and ignorant in divinity. Brook, of 
whom I will speak nothing, lord-treasurer. The great secretary must be 
Markham, oc.ulus patrix. A hole inust be found in my lord chief-justice's 
coat. Grey must be earl-marshal, and master of the horse, because he would 
have a table in the court ; marry, lie would advance the earl of Worcester to 
a higher place. All this cannot be done without a multitude ; therefore, 
Watson, the priest, tells a resolute man that the king was in danger of puri- 
tans and Jesuits ; so to bring him in blindfold into the action, saying, that 
the king is no king till he be crowned ; therefore every man might right his 
own wrongs ; but he is rex natiis, his dignity descends as well as yours, my 
lords. Then Watson imposed a blasphemous oath, that they should swear 
to defend the king's person, to keep secret what was given them in charge, 
and seek all ways and means to advance the catholic religion. Then they 
intended to send for the lord-mayor and the aldermen, in the king's name, to 
the Tower, lest they should make any resistance, and then to take hostages 
of them; and to enjoin them to provide for them victuals and munition. 
Grey, because the king removed before midsummer, had a further reach to 
get a company of swordsmen to assist in the action ; therefore he would 
stay till he had obtained a regiment from Ostend or Austria. So, you see, 
these treasons were like Samson's foxes, which were joined in their tails, 
though their heads were severed. 

Rukigh. — You, gentlemen of the jury, I pray remember, I am not charged 
with the bye, being the treason of the priest. 

Attorney. — You are not; my lords, you shall observe three things in the 
treasons. First, they had a watch-word (the king's safety), their pretence 
was bonum in se, their intent was malum in se. Secondly, they avouched 


scriptuTe; both the priests had scriptum est; perverting and ignorantly 
mistaking the scriptures. Thirdly, they avouched the common law, to prove 
that he was no king till he was crowned ; alleging a statute of Eliz. 13. 
This, by way of imitation, hath been the course of all traitors. 

In the 20th of Edw. II., Isabella the queen, and lord Mortimer, gave out, 
that the king's person was not safe, for the good of the church and common- 

The bishop of Carlisle did preach on this text, " my head is grieved," mean- 
ing, by the head, the king; that when the head began to be negligent, the 
people might reform what is amiss. 

In the 3d Henry IV. sir Roger Claringdon, accompanied with two priests, 
gave out, that Richard II. was alive, when he was dead. 

Edward III. caused Mortimer's head to be cut off, for giving counsel to 
murder the king. 

The 3d Henry VII., sir William Stanly found the crown in the dust, and 
set it on the king's head ; when Fitzwater and Garret told him that Edward 
V. was alive, he said, "If I be alive, I will assist him." But this cost him 
his head. 

Edward de la Pool, duke of Suffolk, killed a man, in the reign of king 
Henry VII. for which the king would have him hold up his hand at the bar, 
and then pardoned him. Yet, he took such an offence thereat, that he sent 
to the noblemen, to help to reform the commonwealth; and then said, he 
would go to France and get power there. Sir Roger Compton knew all the 
treason, and discovered Windon and others, that were attainted. 

He said, there was another thing would be stood upon, namely, " that they 
had but one witness." Then he vouched one Appleyard's case, a traitor in 
Norfolk, who said, a man must have two accusers. Helms was the man that 
accused him ; but Mr. Justice Catlin said, that that statute was not in force at 
that day. His words were, "thrust her into the ditch," — 

Then he went on speaking of accusers, and made this difference : — 

An accuser is a speaker by report ; when a witness is he that, upon his 
oath, shall speak his knowledge of any man. 

A third sort of evidence there is likewise, and this is held more forcible 
than either of the other two ; and that is, when a man, by his accusation of 
another, shall, by the same accusation, also condemn himself, and make 
himself liable to the same fault and punishment: this is more forcible than 
many witnesses. So then, so much by way of imitation. Then he defined 
treason ; there is treason in the heart, in the hand, in the mouth, in con- 
summation. Comparing that in corde to the root of a tree; in ore to the 
bud; in manu to the blossom; and that which is in consummatione, to the 

Now I come to your charge, you of the jury. The greatness of treason is to 
be considered in these two things, deterrninaiione /inis, andeleciione mediorum. 
This treason excelleth in both, for that it was to destroy the king and his 
progeny. These treasons are said to be crinien lasse majestatis ,■ this goeth 
further, and may be termed crimen extirpandx regise majestatis, & totiiis prc- 
geniei susb. I shall not need, my lords, to speak any thing concerning the 
king, nor of the bounty and sweetness of his nature, whose thoughts are 
innocent, whose words are full of wisdom and learning, and whose works are 
full of honour ; although it be a true saying, nunquam ninds quod nunquam 
satis. But to whom do you bear your malice 1 — to the children. 

Raleigh, — To whom speak you this ? You tell me news I never heard of. 

Attorney. — Oh ! sir, do I ] I will prove you the most notorious traitor that 
ever came to the bar. After you have taken away the king, you would alter 
the religion. As you, sir Walter Raleigh, have followed them of the Bye in 
imitation ; for I will charge you with the words. 

Ealeigh. — Your words cannot condemn me; my innocence is my defence; 
prove one of these things wherewith youHiave charged me, and I will confess 



the whole indictment, and that I am the most horrible traitor that ever lived, 
and worthy to be crucified with a thousand thousand torments. 

Jltifjrney. — Nay, I will prove all ; thou art a monster, thou hast an English 
face, but a Spanish heart. Now you must have money. Aremberg was no 
sooner in England, but thou incitest Cobham to go unto him, and to deal with 
him for money, to bestow on discontented persons, to raise rebellion in the 

Raleigh. — Let me answer for myself. 

Attorney. — Thou shall not. ' . 

Raleigh. — It concerneth my life. 

Lord chief-justice Popham. — Sir Walter Raleigh, Mr. Attorney is but j-et 
in the general ; but when the king's council have given the evidence wholly, 
you shall answer every particular. 

Attorney. — Oh ! do I touch you 1 

Lord Cecil. — Mr. Attorney, when you have done Avith this general charge, 
' do you not mean to let him answer to every particular ? 

Attorney. — Yes, when we deliver the proofs to be read. Raleigh pro- 
cured Cobham to go to Aremberg, which he did by his instigation. Ra- 
leigh supped with Cobham before he went to Aremberg ; after supper, Raleigh 
conducted him to Durham-house ; from whence Cobham went with Lawrency, 

* a servant of Aremberg's, unto him, and went in by a back way. Cobham could 

* never be quiet until he had entertained this motion, for he had four letters 
from Raleigh. Aremberg answered, the money should be performed, but 
knew not to whom it should be distributed. Then Cobham and Lawrency 
came back to Durham-house, where they found Raleigh. Cobham and Raleigh 
went up, and left Lawrency below, where they had secret conference in a 
gallery ; and after, Cobham and Lawrency departed from Raleigh. Your 
jargon was peace! What is that? Spanish invasion, Scottish subversion. 
And again, you are not a fit man to take so much money for procuring of a 
lawful peace, for peace procured by money is dishonourable. Then, Cobham 
must go to Spain, and return by Jersey, where you were captain : and then, 
because Cobham had not so much policy, or at least wickedness as you, he 
must have your advice for the distribution of the money. Would you have 
deposed so good a king, lineally descended of Elizabeth, eldest daughter of 
Edward IV. ? Why then must you set up another] I think you meant to 
make Arabella a titular-queen, of whose title I will speak nothing, but sure 
you meant to make her a stale. Ah ! good lady I you could mean her no good. 

Raleigh. — You tell me news, Mr. Attorney. 
V Attorney. — Oh, sir ! I am the more at large, because I know with whom I 
■ deal ; for we have to deal to-day with a man of wit. 

Raleigh. — Did I ever speak with this lady ? 

Attorney. — I will tract you out before I have done. Englishmen will not 
be led by persuasion of words, but they must have books to persuade. 

Raleigh. — The book was written by a man of your profession, Mr. Attorney. 

Attorney. — I would not have you im-patient. 

Raleigh. — Methinks you fall out with yourself, I say nothing. 

Attorney. — By this book you would persuade men that the king is not the 
lawful king. Now let us consider some circumstances. My lords, you know 
my lord Cobham (for whom we all lament and rejoice; lament, in that his 
house, which hath stood so long unspotted, is now ruinated ; rejoice, in that 
his treasons are revealed). He was neither politician nor swordsman; Ra- 
leigh was both, united in the cause with him, and, therefore, cause of his 
destruction. Another circumstance is the secret contriving of it. Humphrey 
Stafford claimed sanctuary for treason. Raleigh, in his machivilian policy, 
hath made a sanctuary for treason. He must talk with none but Cobham, " be- 
cause," saith he, " one witness can never condemn me." For Brook said unto sir 
Griffith Markham, " take heed how you do make my lord Cobham acquainted ; 
for whatsoever he knoweth, Raleigh, the witch, will get it out of him." As 


soon as Raleigh was examined on one point of treason concerning my lord 
Cobham, he wrote to him thus : " I have been examined of you, and confessed 
nothing." Further, you sent to him, by your trusty Francis Kemish, that one 
witness could not condemn ; and, therefore, bade his lordship be of good cou- 
rage. Came this out of Cobham's quiver"? No ; but out of Raleigh's machi- 
vilian and devilish policy. Yea, but Cobham did retract it: why then did 
you urge if? Now, then, see the most horrible practices that ever came out 
of the bottomless pit of the lowest hell. After that Raleigh had intelligence 
that Cobham had accused him, he endeavoured to have intelligence from Cob- 
ham, which he had gotten by young sir John Payton ; but, I think, it was 
the error of his youth. 

Baleigh. — The lords told it me, or else I had not been sent to the Tower. 

Mtorneij. — Thus Cobham, by the instigation of Raleigh, entered into these ^S: 

actions ; so that the question will be, " whether you are not the principal trai- ■• Jf^' 
tor, and he would nevertheless have entered into it." Why did Cobham retract * '*' 

all that same ■? First, because Raleigh was so odious, he thought he should 
fare the worse for his sake. Secondly, he thought thus with himself, if he be 
free, I shall clear myself the better. jVfter this, Cobham asked for a preacher 
to confer with, pretending to have Dr. Andrews; but, indeed, he meant not 
to have him, but Mr. Galloway, a worthy and reverend preacher, "who can 
do more with the king," as he said, " than any other ; that he, seeing his 
constant denial, might inform the king thereof." Here he plays with the 
preacher. If Raleigh could persuade the lords that Cobham had no intent to 
travel, then he thought all should be well. Here is forgery. In the tower, 
Cobham must write to sir Thomas Vane, worthy man. that he meant not 
to go into Spain; which letter Raleigh had devised in Cobham's name. 

Raleigh. — I will wash my hands of the indictment, and die a true man to 
the king. 

Attorney. — You are the most absolute traitor that ever was. 

Raleigh. — Your phrases will not prove it, Mr. Attorney. m ' 

Attorney . — Cobham writeth a letter to my lord Cecil, and doth command 
Mollis, his man, to lay it in a vSpanish Bible, and to make as if he found it by 
chance. This was after he had intelligence with this viper that he was false. 

Lord Cecil. — You mean a letter intended to me ; I never had it. 

Attorney. — No, my lord, you had it not. You, my masters of the jury, re- 
spect not the wickedness and hatred of the man; respect his cause. If he be 
guilty, I know you will have care of it, for the preservation of the king, the 
continuance of the gospel authorized, and the good of us all. 

Raleigh. — I do not hear yet that you have spoken one word against me ; 
here is no treason of mine done. If my lord Cobham be a traitor, what is 
that to me ■? 

Attorney. — All that he did was by thy instigation, thou viper ; 'twas through 
thee, thou traitor. 

Raleigh. — Itbecometh not a man of quality and virtue to call me so ; but I 
take comfort in it, it is all you can do. 

Attorney. — Have I angered you ? 

Raleigh. — I am in no case to be angry. 

Popham. — Sir Walter Raleigh, Mr. Attorney speaketh out of the zeal of 
his duty, for the service of the king, and you for your life ; be valiant on both 

Then they proceeded to the reading the proofs. 

The lord Cobham's examination read. 

He confesseth he had a passport to go into Spain, intending to go to the 
archduke, to confer with him about these practices; and, because he knew 
the archduke had not money to pay his own army, from thence he meant to 
goto Spain, to deal with the king for the 600,000 crowns, and to return by •■*.'^" 

.Jersey ; and that nothing should be done until he had spoken to sir Walter 
Raleigh, for distribution of the money to them that were discontented in 

q2 24 " 


England. At the first beginning he breathed out oaths and exclamations 
against Raleigh, calling him villain and traitor ; saying he had never entered 
into these courses but by his instigation, and that he would never let him 

[Here Mr. Attorney willed the clerk of the crown-office to read over these 
last words again, "he would never let him alone."] 

Besides he spake of plots and invasions, of the particulars whereof he could 
give no account, though Raleigh and he had conferred of them. Further, he 
said, he was afraid of Raleigh, that when he should return by Jersey, that he 
would have him and the money to the king. Being examined concerning sir 
Arthur Gorge, he freed him, saying, "they never durst trust him;" but sir 
Arthur Savage they intended to use, because they thought him a fit man. 

Raleigh. — ^^Let me see the accusation. This is absolutely all the evidence 
that can be brought against me ; poor shifts ! You, gentlemen of the jury, I 
pray you understand this : this is that which must either condemn or give me 
life ; which must free me, or send my wife and children to beg their bread 
about the streets. This it is that must prove me a notorious traitor, or a true 
subject to the king. Let me see my accusation, that I may make my answer. 

Clerk of the council. — I read it, and showed you all the examinations. 

Raleigh. — At my first examination at Windsor, the lords asked me, what I 
knew of Cobham's practice with Aremberg] I answered negatively: and, 
as concerning Arabella, I protest, before God, I never heard one word of it. 
If that be proved, let me be guilty of ten thousand treasons. It is a strange 
thing you will impute that to me, when I never heard so much as the name 
of Arabella Stewart, but only the name of Arabella. 

After being examined, I told my lords, that 1 thought my lord Cobhamhad 
conference with Aremherg ; I suspected his visiting of him : for after he de- 
parted from me at Durham-house, I saw him pass by his own stairs, and walk 
over to St. Mary Saviours, where I knew Lawrency, a merchant, and a fol- 
lower of Aremherg, lay, and therefore likely to go unto him. IMy lord Cecil 
asked my opinion concerning Lawrency : I said, that if you do not apprehend 
Lawrency, it is dangerous, he will fly; if you do apprehend him, you 
shall give my lord Cobham notice thereof. I was asked likewise, who was 
the greatest man with my lord Cobham] I answered, I knew no man so 
great with him as young Wyatt of Kent. 

As soon as Cobham saw my letter had discovered his dealings with Arem- 
herg, in his fury he accused me ; but before he came to the stair-foot he re- 
pented, and said he had done me wrong. When he came to the end of his 
accusation, he added, that if he had brought this money to Jersey, he feared 
that I would have delivered him and the money to the king. Mr. Attornev, 
you said, this never came out of Cobham's quiver, he is a simple man. Is 
he so simple] No ; he hath a disposition of his own ; he will not easily be 
guided by others ; but when he has once taken head in a matter, he is not 
easily drawn from it ; he is no babe. But it is strange for me to devise 
with Cobham, that he should go to Spain to persuade the king to disburse so 
much money, he being a man of no love in England, and I having resigned my 
place of chiefest command, the wardenship of the Stannaries. Is it not strange 
for me to make myself Robin Hood, or a Kett, or a Cade ] I knowing Eng- 
land to be in a better estate to defend itself than ever it was. I knew Scotland 
united, Ireland quieted, wherein of late our forces were dispersed ; Denmark 
assured, which before was suspected. I knew, that having a lady, whom 
time had surprised, we had now an active king, a lawful successor, who 
would himself be present in all his aflairs. The state of Spain was not un- 
known to me. I had written a discourse, which I had intended to present 
unto the king, against peace with Spain. I knew the Spaniard had six re- 
pulses, three in Ireland, and three at sea, and once in 158S, at Cales, by my 
lord admiral; I knew he was discouraged and dishonoured. I knew the 
king of Spain to be the proudest prince in Christendom ; but now he cometh 



creeping to the king, my master, for peace. I knew whereas before he had 
in his port six or seven score sail of ships, he hath now but six or seven. I 
knew of twenty-five millions he had from his Indies, he had scarce one left. 
I knew him to be so poor, that the Jesuits in Spain, who were wont to have 
such a large allowance, were fain to beg at the church-door. Was it ever read, 
or heard, that any prince should disburse so much money without a sufficient 
pawn ? I know her own subjects, the citizens of London, would not lend her 
majesty money without lands in mortgage. I know the queen did not lend 
the States money without Flushing, Brill, and other towns for a pawn. And 
can it be thought, that he would let Cobham have so great a sum 1 

I never came to the lord Cobham's but about matters of his profit ; as the order- 
ing of his house, paying of the servants' board-wages, &c. I had of his, when 
I was examined, £400,000 worth of jewels for a purchase ; a pearl of £3000, 
and a ring worth £500. If he had had a fancy to run away, he would not 
have left so much to have purchased a lease in fee-farm. I saw him buy 
£300 worth of books to send to his library at Canterbury, and a cabinet oi 
£30 to give to Mr. Attorney, for drawing the conveyances ; and God in hea- 
ven knoweth, not I, whether he intended to travel or no. But for that prac- 
tice with Arabella, or letters to Aremberg framed, or any discourse with him, 
or in what language he spake unto him ; if I knew any of these things, 
I would absolutely confess the indictment, and acknowledge myself worthy 
ten thousand deaths. 

Cobham's second examination read. 

The lord Cobham being required to subscribe to an examination, there was 
showed a note under sir Walter Raleigh's hand, the which, when he had pe- 
rused, he paused, and afterwards brake forth into these speeches, "Oh, 
villain ! Oh, traitor ! I will now tell you the truth :" and then said, 
" his purpose was to go into Flanders, and into Spain, for the obtaining the 
aforesaid money, and that Raleigh had appointed to meet him in Jersey, as he 
returned home, to be advised of him about the distribution of the money." 

Popham, lord chief-justice. — When Cobham answered to the interrogatories 
he made scruple to subscribe, andbeingurged to it, he said, if he might hear me 
affirm that a person of his degree ought to set his hand, he would ; I lying 
then at Richmond, for fear of the plague, was sent for, and told him he ought 
to subscribe ; otherwise it were a contempt of a high nature : then he sub- 
scribed. The lords questioned him further, and he showed them a letter, as 
I thought, written to me, but, indeed, it was written to my lord Cecil : he de- 
sired to see the letter again, and then said, " Oh, wretch ! Oh, traitor !" where- 
by I perceived you had not performed that trust he had reposed in you. 

Raleigh. — He is as passionate a man as lives ; for he hath not spared the 
best friends he hath in England in his passion. My lords, 1 take it, he 
that has been examined, has ever been asked, at the time of the examination, 
if it be according to his meaning, and then to subscribe. Methinks, my lords, 
when he accuses a man, he should give some account and reason of it; it is 
not sufficient to say, we talked of it. If I had been the plotter, would not I have 
given Cobham some arguments, whereby to persuade the King of Spain, and 
answer his objections. I knew Westmoreland and Bothwell, men of other 
understandings than Cobham, were ready to beg their bread. 

Sir Thomas Fowler, one of the jury. — Did sir Walter Raleigh write a let- 
ter to my lord, before he was examined concerning him, or not ] 

Attorney. — Yes. 

Lord Cecil. — I am in great dispute with myself to speak in the case of this 
gentleman : a former tenderness, between me and him, tied so firm a knot of 
my conceit of his virtues, now broken by a discovery of his imperfections. 
I protest, did I serve a king that I knew would be displeased with me for 
speaking, in this case I would speak, whatever came of it : but seeing he is 
compacted of piety and justice, and one that will not mislike of any man for 
speaking a truth, I will answer your question. 

■ :\^ 


Sir Walter Raleigh was arrested by me at Windsor, upon the first news 
of Coply, that the king's person should be surprised by my lord Grey, and 
and Mr. George Brook; when I found Brook was in, I suspected Cobliam ; 
then I doubted Raleigh to be a partaker. I speak not this, that it should be 
thought I had greater judgment than the rest of my lords, in making this 
haste to have them examined. Raleigh following to Windsor, I met with 
him upon the terrace, and willed him, as from the king, to stay, saying the 
lords had something to say to him : then he Was examined, but not concern- 
ing my lord Cobham, but of the surprising treason. My lord Grey was ap- 
prehended, and likewise Brook. By Brook we found that he had given no- 
tice to Cobham of the surprising treason, as he delivered it to us, but with 
as much sparingness of a brother as he might. We sent for my lord Cobham 
to Richmond, where he stood upon his justification, and his quality ; some- 
times being froward, he said, he was not bound to subscribe, wherewith we 
made the king acquainted. Cobham said, if my lord chief-justice would say 
it were a contempt, he would subscribe; wliereof being resolved, we sub- 
scribed. There was a light given to Aremberg; that Lawrency was exa- 
mined, but that Raleigh knew that Cobham was examined, is more than I 

Raleigh. — If my lord Cobham had trusted me in the main, was not 1 as fit 
a man to be trusted in the bye ? 

Lord Cecil. — Raleigh did by his letters acquaint us that my lord Cobham 
had sent Lawrency to Aremberg, when he knew not he had any dealings 
with him. 

Lord II. How. — It made for you, if Lawrency had been only acquainted 
with Cobham, and not with you. But you knew his whole estate, and were 
acquainted with Cobham's practice with Lawrency, and it was known to you 
before that Lawrency depended on Aremberg. 

Attorney. — 1st, Raleigh protested against the surprising treason. 2d, That 
he knew not of the matter touching Arabella. 1 would not charge you, sir 
Walter, with a matter of falsehood ; you say you suspected the intelligence 
that Cobham had with Aremberg, by Lawrency. 

Raleigh. — I thought it had been no other intelligence but such as might 
be warranted. 

Attorney. — Then it was but lawful suspicion. But to that whereas you 
said that Cobham had accused you in passion, I answer three ways : 1st, I 
observed when Cobham said, "Let me see the letter again;" he paused; 
and when he did see that Count Aremberg was touched, he cried out, " Oh, 
traitor ! Oh, villain ! Now will I confess the whole truth." 2d, The accu- 
sation of a man on hearsay is nothing; would he accuse himself on passion, 
and ruinate his cause and posterity, out of malice to accuse you ] 3d, Could 
this be out of passion? mark the manner of it; Cobham had told this at 
least two months before to his brother Brook ; " you are on the bye, Raleigh 
and I are on the main ; we mean to take away the king and his cubs ;" this 
he delivered two months before. So mark the manner and the matter ; he 
would not turn the weapon against his own bosom, and accuse himself to 
accuse you. 

Raleigh. — Hath Cobham confessed that ] 

Lord chief-j list ice. — This is spoken by Mr. Attorney, to prove that Cobham's 
speech came not out of passion. 

Raleigh. — Let it be proved that Cobham said so. 

Attorney. — Cobham saith, he was a long time doubtful of Raleigh, that he 
would send him and the money to the king. Did Cobham fear lest you 
would betray him in Jersey 1 Then of necessity there must be trust between 
j'ou. No man can betray a man but he that is trusted, in my understanding. 
This is the greatest argument to prove that he was acquainted with Cobham'^s 
proceedings. Raleigh has a deeper reach than to make himself, as he said, 
a Robin Hood, a Kett, or Cade ; yet I never heard that Robin Hood was a 


traitor ; they say he was an outlaw. And whereas he saith that our king is 
not only more wealthy and potent than his predecessors, but also more politic 
and wise, so that he could have no hope to prevail : I answer, there is no 
king so potent, wise, and active, but he may be overtaken through treason. 
Whereas, you say Spain is so poor, discoursing so largely thereof: it had 
been better for you to have kept in Guiana, than to have been so well ac- 
quainted with the state of Spain. Besides, if you could have brought Spain 
and Scotland to have joined, you might have hoped to prevail a great deal 
the better. For his six overthrows, I answer, he hath the more malice, 
because repulses breed desire of revenge. Then you say you never talked 
with Cobham but about leases, and letting lands, and ordering his house; I 
never knew you clerk of the kitchen, &c. If you had fallen on your knees 
at first, and confessed the treason, it had been better for you. You say he 
meant to have given me a cabinet of thirty pounds ; perhaps he thought, by 
those means, to have anticipated me therewith. I answer, all this accusation 
in circumstance is true : here now I might appeal to my lords, that you take 
hold of this, that he subscribed not to the accusation. 

Lord II. How. — Cobham was not then pressed to subscribe. 
Attorney. — His accusation, being testified by the lords, is of as great force 
as if he had subscribed. Raleigh saith again, " If the accuser be alive, he 
must be brought face to face to speak ;" and alleges 25th Edw. III. that 
there must be two sufficient witnesses that must be brought face to face 
before the accused, and allegeth 10th and 13th Eliz. 

Raleigh. — You try me by the Spanish inquisition, if you proceed only by 
the circumstances without two witnesses. 
Attorney. — This is a treasonable speech. 

Raleigh. — Evertere hominem justem in Causa sua injustum est: Good my 
lords, let it be proved either by the laws of the land or the laws of God, that 
there ought not to be two witnesses appointed ; yet I will not stand to 
defend this point in law, if the king will have it so. It is no rare thing for 
a man to be falsely accused. My lords, it is not against nor contrary to law 
to have my accuser brought hither ; I do not demand it of right, and yet I 
must needs tell you, that you will deal very severely with me if you condemn 
me, and not bring my accuser to my face. Remember the story which For- 
tescue relates of a certain reverend judge of this land, which condemned a 
woman at Salisbury for the murder of her husband, upon presumption, and 
the testimony, it seems, of one witness ; for which she was burnt : and how 
that afterwards a servant of the man that was slain, being to be executed for 
another crime, confessed that he had murdered his master himself, and that 
the woman was innocent. What did the judge say to Fortescue, out of re- 
morse of conscience ] Quod nunquam de hoc facto animam in vita sua pur- 
garet. He could never have peace of conscience, though he did no more 
than pronounce judgment upon the verdict of the jury. Why then, my lords, 
let my accuser be brought, and let me ask him a question, and I have done ; 
for it may be, it will appear from his own relation, that his accusation cannot 
be true, or he may be discovered by examination, I must tell you, Mr. At- 
torney, if you condemn me upon bare inferences, and will not bring my 
accuser to my face, you try me by no law, but by a Spanish inquisition. If 
my accuser were dead, or out of the realm, it were something ; but my 
accuser lives, as I said already, and is in the house, and yet you will not 
bring him to my face. It is also commanded by the Scripture, AUocutus est 
Jehova Mosen, In Ore duoruin aut triura Tesfium, &c. 

If Christ requireth it, as it appeareth, Matt, 18, if by the canon, civil law, 
and God's word, it be required that there must be two witnesses at the least, 
bear with me if I desire one, 

I would not desire to live if I were privy to Cobham's proceedings. I had 
been a slave, a fool, if I had endeavoured to set up Arabella, and refused so 
gracious a lord and sovereign ; but urge your proofs. 


Lord chief-justice, — You have offered questions on divers statutes, all which 
mention two accusers in case of indictments ; you have deceived yourself, 
for the laws of '25th Edw. IIL, and 5th Edw. VL are repealed. It sufficeth 
now, if there be proofs made either under hand, or by testimony of witnesses, 
or by oaths ; it needs not the subscription of the party, so there be hands of 
credible men to testify the examination. 

Raleigh. — It may be an error in me; and if those laws be repealed, yet I 
Isope the equity of them remains still ; but if you affirm it, it must be a law 
to posterity. The proof of the common law is by witness and jury; let 
Cobham be here, let him speak it. Call my accuser before my face, and I 
have done. 

Attorney. — Scientia sceleris est mera ignorantia. You have read the letter 
of the law, but understand it not. Here was your anchor-liold, and your ren- 
dezvous ; you trust to Cobham ; either Cobham must accuse you, or nobody; 
if he did, then it would not hurt you, because he is but one witness; if he 
did not, then you are safe. 

Raleigh. — If ever I read word of the law or statute before I was prisoner 
in the 'I'ower, God confound me. 

.ittorney. — Now I come to prove the circumstances of the accusation to be 
true. Cobham confessed he had a passport to travel, hereby intending to 
present overtures to the archduke, and from thence to go to Spain, and there 
to have conference with the king for money : you say he promised to come 
by Jersey, to make merry with you and your wife. 

Raleigh. — I said, in his return from France, not Spain. 

Attorney. — Further, in his examination he saith, nothing could be set down 
for the distribution of the money to the discontented, without conference with 
Raleigh. You said it should have been for procurement of peace, but it was 
for raising rebellion. Further, Cobham saith he would never have entered 
into these courses, but by your instigation, and that you would never let him 
alone. Your scholar was not apt enough to tell us all the plots; that is 
enough for you to do, that are his master; you intended to trust sir Arthur 
Savage, whom I take to be an honest and true gentleman, but not sir Arthur 

Raleigh. — All this is but one accusation of Cobham's; I hear no other 
thing; to which accusation he never subscribed nor avouched it; I beseech 
you, my lords, let Cobham be sent for, charge him on his soul, on his alle- 
giance to the king ; if he affirm it, I am guilty. 

Lord Cecil — It is the accusation of my lord Cobham, it is the evidence 
against you, must it not be of force without his subscription ? I desire to 
be resolved by the judges, whether by tlie law it is not a forcible argument 
of evidence. 

The judges. — My lord, it is. 

Raleigh. — The king at his coronation is sworn. In omnibus Judiciis su% 
JEquitateni, nan Rigorem Legis, observare : by the rigour and cruelty of thii 
law it may be a forcible evidence. 

Lord chief-justice. — That is not the rigour of the law, but the justice of the 
law ; else when a man hath made a plain accusation, by practice he might 
be brought to retract it again. 

Raleigh. — Oh, my lord, you may use equity. 

Lord chief-justice. — That is from the king, you are to have justice from us. 

Lord Anderson, — The law is, if the matter be proved to the jury, they must 
lind you guilty; for Cobham's accusation is not only against you, there are 
other things sufficient. 

Lord Cecil. — Now that sir Walter Raleigh is satisfied that Cobham's sub- 
scription is not necessary, I pray you, Mr. Attorney, go on. 

Raleigh. — Good Mr. Attorney, be patient, and give me leave. 

Lard Cecil. — An unnecessary patience is a hindrance; let him go on with 
his proofs, and then repel them. , ^ . 



Raleigh. — I would answer particularly. 

Lord Cecil. — If you would have a table, and pen and ink, you shall. 
Then paper and ink were given Mm. 

Here the clerk of the crown read the letter which the lord Cobham did 
write in July, which was to the effect of his former examination, further 
saying, " I have disclosed all ; to accuse any one falsely, were to burthen 
my own conscience." 

Attorney. — Read Copley's confession the 8th of June; he saith, he was 
offered 1000 crowns to be in this action. 

Here JVatsonh additions icere read. 

The great mass of money from the count was impossible, saith Brook, &c. 

Brook's Confession read. 

There have letters passed, saith he, between Cobham and Aremberg, for a 
great sum of money, to assist a second action, for the surprising of his 

Mtorney. — It is not possible it was of passion, for it was in talk before 
three men being severally examined, wlio agreed in the sum to be bestowed 
on discontented persons. That Grey should have 13,000 crowns, and Ra- 
leigh should have 8000 or 10,000 crowns. 

Cobham'' s Examination, July ISth. 

If the money might be procured (saith he) then a man may give pensions. 
Being asked if a pension should not be given to his brother Brook, he de- 
nied it not. 

Lawrency^s Examination. 

Within five days after Aremberg arrived, Cobham resorted unto him. 
That night that Cobham went to Aremberg with Lawrency, Raleigh supped 
with him. 

Attorney. — Raleigh must have his part of the money, therefore, now he is 
a traitor. The crown shall never stand one year on the head of the king 
(my master) if a traitor may not be condemned by circumstances : for if A. 
tells B., and B. tells C, and C. D., &c. you shall never prove treason by 
two witnesses. 

Raleigh\s Examination was read. 

He confesseth Cobham offered him 8000 crowns, which he was to ha-ve 
for the furtherance of the peace between England and Spain; and that he 
should have it within three days. To which he said, he gave this answer: 
When I see the money I will tell you more; for I had thought it had been 
one of his ordinary idle conceits, and therefore made no account thereof. 

Raleigh. — The attorney hath made a long narration of Copley, and the 
priests, which concerns me nothing, neither know I how Cobham was altered. 
For he told me, if I would agree to further the peace, he would get me SOOO 
crowns. I asked him, who shall have the rest of the money] He said, I 
will offer such a nobleman (who was not named) some of the money. I said 
he will not be persuaded by you, and he will extremely Iiate you for such a 
motion. Let me be pinched to death with hot irons, if ever I knew there 
was any intention to bestow the money on discontented persons. I had made 
a discourse against the peace, and would have printed it. If Cobham had 
changed his mind ; if the priests, if Brook had any such intent, what is that 
to me 1 — they must answer for it. He offered me the money before Arem- 
berg came, that is difference of time. 

Sergeant Philips, — Raleigh confesseth the matter, but avoideth it by dis- 
tinguishing of time. You said it was offered you before the coming of Arem- 
berg, which is false. For you being examined, whether you should have 





such money of Cobham or not, you said yea, and that you should have it 
within two or three days. Nemo moriturus presuiuitur mtntiri. 

Lord Ihn. Ihjic. — Allege me any ground or cause, wherefore you gave ear 
to my lord Cobham for receiving pensions, in matters you had not to deal 

Raleigh. — Could I stop my lord Cobham's month ? 

Lord Cecil. — Sir Walter Raleigh presseth, that my lord Cobham should 
be brought to face him. If he asked things of favour and grace, they must 
come only from him that can give them. If we sit here as commissioners, 
how shall we be satisfied whether he ought to be brought, unless we hear the 
judges speak] 

Lord chief-justice. — This thing cannot be granted, for then a number of 
treasons should flourish. The accuser may be drawn by practice, whilst he 
is in person. 

JucIkc Guii-dy. — The statute you speak of, concerning two witnesses in a 
case of treason, is found to be inconvenient ; therefore, by another law, it was 
taken away. 

Raleigh. — The common trial of England is by jury and witnesses. 

Lord chief-ju.ifice. — No, by examination, if three conspire a treason, and 
all confess it; here is never a witness, yet they are condemned. 

Judge TJ'arbinion. — I marvel, sir Walter, that you being of such experience 
and wit, should stand on this point; for so many horse-stealers may escape, 
if they may not be condemned without witnesses. If one should rush into 
the king's privy-chamber, whilst he is alone, and kill the king (which God 
forbid), and this man be met coming with his sword drawn, all bloody, shall 
not he be condemned to death T My lord Cobham hath, perhaps, been la- 
boured withal ; and to save you, his old friend, it may be that he will deny 
all that which he hath said. 

Raleigh I know not how you conceive the law. 

Lord chief-Justice. — Nay, we do not conceive the law, but we know the law. 

Raleigh. — The wisdom of the law of God is absolute and perfect, harcfac, 
and vives, &c. But now the wisdom of the state, the wisdom of the law, is 
uncertain. Indeed, where the accuser is not to be had conveniently, I agree 
with you ; but here my accuser may — he is alive, and in the house. Susanna 
had been condemned, if Daniel had not cried out, " Will you condemn an 
innocent Israelite, without examination or knowledge of the truth V^ Remem- 
ber, it is absolutely the commandment of God, "If a false witness rise up, 
you shall cause him to be brought before the judges; if he be found false, 
he shall have the punishment which the accused should have had." It is 
very sure for my lord to accuse me is my certain danger, and it may be a 
means to excuse himself. 

Lord chief-justice. — There must not such a gap be opened for the destruc- 
tion of the king, as would be, if we should grant this. You plead hard for 
yourself, but the laws plead as hard for the thing. I did never hear that 
course to be taken in a case of treason, as to write one to another, or speak 
one to another during the time of their imprisonment. There hath been in- 
telligence between you, and what underhand practices there may be, I know 
not. If the circumstances agree not with the evidence, we will not con- 
demn you. 

Raleigh. — The king desires nothing but the knowledge of the truth, and 
would have no advantage taken by severity of the law. If ever we had a 
gracious king, now we have ; I hope, as he is, such are his ministers. If 
there be but a trial of five marks at common law, a witness must be deposed. 
Good my lords ; let my accuser come face to face, and be deposed. 

Lord chief-justice. — You have no law for it: God forbid any man should 
accuse himself upon his oath. 

Attorneij The law presumes, a man will not accuse himself to accuse 


another. You are an odious man; for Cobham thinks his cause the worse 
that yoa are in it. Now you shall hear of some stirs to be raised in Scotland. 

Part of Copley''s Examination. 

Watson told me, that a certain person told him, that Aremberg offered to 
him a thousand crowns to be in that action ; and that Brook said, the stirs in 
Scotland came out of Raleigh's head. 

Baleigh. — Brook hath been taught his lesson. 

Lord H. How. — This examination was taken before me ; did I teach him 
his lesson 1 

Ealeigh. — I protest before God, I meant it not by any privy-counsellor ; but 
because money is scant, he will juggle on both sides. 

Raleigh's Examination. 

The way to invade England, was to begin with stirs in Scotland. 

Raleigh. — I think so still : I have spoken it to divers of the lords of the 
council, by way of discourse and opinion. 

Altorney. — Now let us come to those words of destroying the king and 
his cubs. 

Raleigh. — O barbarous! if they, like unnatural villains, should use those 
words, shall I be charged with them ? I will not hear it; I was never any 
plotter with them against my country ; I was never false to the crown of 
England. I have spent £-1000 of my own against the Spanish faction, for 
the good of my country. Do you bring the words of these hellish spiders, 
Clark, Watson, and others, against me ? 

Attorney. — Thou hast a Spanish heart, and thyself art a spider of hell ; for 
thou confessest the king to be a most sweet and gracious prince, and yet hast 
conspired against him. 

Watson''s Examination read. 

He said that George Brook told him twice, that bis brother, the lord Cob- 
ham, said to him, that you are but on the bye, but Raleigh and I are on the 

Brook's Examination read. 

Being asked what was meant by this jargon, the bye and the main; he 
said, that the lord Cobham told him, that Grey and others were in the bye, 
he and Raleigh were on the main. Being asked what exposition his brother 
made of these words; he said, he is loth to repeat it. And after saith, by 
the main was meant the taking away of the king and his issue ; and thinks, 
on his conscience, it was infused into his brother's head by Raleigh. 

Cobham^s Examination read. 

Being asked, if ever he had said, It will never be well in England, till 
the king and his cubs are taken away. He said, he had answered before, and 
that he would answer no more to that point. 

Raleigh. — I am not named in all this : there is a law of two sorts of accu- 
sers, one of his own knowledge, another by hearsay. 

E. Suff. — See the case of Arnold. 

Lord chief-justice. — It is the case of sir William Thomas, and sir Nicho- 
las Arnold. 

Raleigh. — If this may be, you will have any man's life in a week. 

Attorney. — Raleigh saith, that Cobham was in a passion when he said 
so. Would he tell his brother any thing of malice against Raleigh, whom 
he loved as his life 1 

Raleigh — Brook never loved me; until his brother had accused me, he 
said nothing. 

Lord Cecil. — We have heard nothing that might lead us to think that Brook 
R 25 



accused you, be was only in the surprising treason ; for by accusing you, he 
should accuse his brother. 

Raleigh. — He doth not care much for that. 

Lord Cecil. — I must judge the best. The accusation of his brother was 
not voluntary ; he pared every thing as much as he could to save his brother. 
Cobhani's Examination read. 

He said he hath a book written against the title of the king, which he had 
of Raleigh, and that he gave it to his brother Brook ; and Raleigh said it was 
foolishly written. 

Attorney. — After the king came within twelve miles of London, Cobham 
never came to see him ; and intended to travel without seeing the queen and 
the prince. Now, in this discontentment, you gave him the book, and he 
gave it to his brother. 

liuleigh. — I never gave it to him ; he took it off my table. I well remem- 
ber, a little before that I received a challenge from sir Amias Preston, and it 
was my intention to answer it. I resolved to leave my estate settled ; I there- 
fore laid out all my loose papers, amongst which was this book. 

Lord Howard. — "Where had you this book \ 

Raleigh. — In the old treasurer's study, after his death. 

Lord Cecil — Did you ever show or make known the book to me 1 

Raleigh. — No, my lord. 

Lord Cecil. — ^Yas it one of the books which was left to me or my brother ] 

Raleigh. — I took it out of the study in my lord-treasurer's house in the 

Lord Cecil. — After my father's decease, sir Walter Raleigh desired to search 
for some cosmographical descriptions of the Indies, which he thought were in 
ins study, and were not to be had in print, which I granted, and would have 
trusted sir Walter Raleigh as soon as any man; though since for some 
infirmities, the bands of my affection to him have been broken ; and A'et re- 
serving my duty to the king my master, which I can by no means dispense 
with, by God I love him, and have a great conflict within myself: but I must 
needs say, sir Walter used me a little unkindl}^, to take the book away with- 
out my knowledge ; nevertheless, I need make no apology in behalf of my 
father, considering how useful and necessary it is for privy-counsellors, and 
those in his place, to intercept and keep such kind of writings : for whosoever 
should then search his study, may in all likelihood find all the notorious libels 
that were written against the late queen ; and whosoever should rummage my 
study, at least my cabinet, may find several against the king, our sovereign 
lord, since his accession to the throne. 

Raleigh. — The book was in manuscript, and the late lord-treasurer had 
wrote in the beginning of it, with his own hand, these words, 'This is the 
book of Robert Snagg.' And I do own, as my lord Cecil has said, that I 
believe they may also find in my house almost all the libels that have been 
written against the late queen. 

Attorney. — You were no privy-counseller, and I hope never will be. 

Lord Cecil. — He was not a sworn counsellor of state, but he has been called 
to consultations. 

Raleigh. — I think it a very severe interpretation of the law, to bring me 
within compass of treason for this book, written so long ago, of which nobody 
had read any more than the heads of the chapters, and which was burnt by 
G. Brook without my privity : admitting I had delivered the same to the 
lord Cobham, without allowing or approving, but discommending it, ac- 
cording to Cobham's first accusation, and put the case, I should come to my 
lord Cecil, as I have often done, and find a stronger with him, with a packet 
of libels, and my lord should let me have one or two of them to peruse : this 
I hope is no treason. 

Attorney, — I observe there was intelligence between you and Cobham in 


the Tower ; for after he said, it was against the king's title, he denied it 

Sir William Wade, — First my lord Cobham confessed it, and after he had 
subscribed it, he revoked it again : to me he always said, that the drift of it 
was against the king's title. 

Raleigh. — I protest before God, and all his works, I did not give him the 

Sir Robert Wroth now spoke, or whispered something secretly. 

Attorney. — My lords, I must complain of sir Robert Wroth; he says this 
evidence is not material. 

.SV;- Robert Wroth. — T never spake the words. 

Attorney. — Let Mr. Sergeant Philips testify, whether he heard him say the 
words or no. 

Lord Cecil. — I will give my word for sir Robert Wroth. 

Sir Robert Wroth. — I will speak as truly as you, Mr. Attorney; for by 
God, I never spoke it. 

Lord chief-justice. — Wherefore should this book be burnt] 

Raleigh. — I burned it not. 

Sergeant Philips. — You presented your friend with it, when he was dis- 
contented. If it had been before the queen's death, it had been a less matter ; 
but you gave it him presently when he came from the king, which was the 
time of his discontentment. 

Raleigh. — Here is a book supposed to be treasonable ; 1 never read it, com- 
mended it, or delivered, or urged it. 

Attorney. — Why this is cunning. 

Raleigh. — Every thing that doth make for me is cunning, and every thing 
that maketh against me is probable. 

Attorney. — Lord Cobham saith, that Kemish came to him with a letter 
torn, and wished him not to be dismayed, for one witness could not hurt him. 

Raleigh. — This poor man has been a close prisoner these eighteen weeks; 
he was offered the rack to make him confess. I never sent any such mes- 
sage by him ; I only writ to him, to tell him what I had done with Mr. Attorney ; 
having of his, at that time, a great pearl and a diamond. 

Lord H. Howard. — No circumstance moveth me more than this. Kemish 
was never on the rack ; the king gave charge that no rigour should be used. 

Commissioners. — We protest before God, there was no such matter intended 
to our knowledge. 

Raleigh. — Was not the keeper of the rack sent for, and he threatened with it ? 

Sir WilUain Wade. — When Mr. Solicitor and myself examined Kemish, we 
told him he deserved the rack, but did not threaten him with it. 

Commissioners. — It was more than we knew. 

Cobham''s Examination read. 

He saith, Kemish brought him a letter from Raleigh, and that part which 
was concerning the lords of the council, was torn out ; the letter stated, that 
he was examined and had cleared himself of all; and that the lord H. How- 
ard said, because he was discontent, he was fit to be in the action. And 
further that Kemish said to him from Raleigh, that he should be of good com- 
fort, for one witness could not condemn a man for treason. 

Lord Cecil. — Cobham was asked, whether, and when he heard from you? 
he said, every day. 

Raleigh. — Kemish added more ; I never bade him speak those words. 

Mr. Attorney here offered to interrupt him. 

Lord Cecil — It is his last discourse. Give him leave, Mr. Attorney. 

Raleigh — I am accused concerning Arabella, concerning money out of 
Spain. My lord chief-justice saith, a man may be condemned with one wit- 
ness ; nay, without any witness. Cobham is guilty of many, things, Consci- 
entia milk Testes,- he hath accused himself, what can he hope for but 


mercy? My lords, vouchsafe me this grace. Let him be brought, being 
alive and in the house ; let him avouch any of these things, I will confess 
the whole indictment, and renounce the king's mercy. 

Lord Cecil. — Here hath been a scandal against the lady Arabella Stewart, 
a near kinswoman of the king's. Let us not scandal the innocent by confu* 
sion of speech : she is as innocent of all these things as I, or any man here ; 
onlj' she received a letter from my lord Cobham to prepare her ; which she 
laughed at, and immediately sent it to the king.' So far was she from dis- 
contentment, that she laughed him to scorn. But you see how far the count 
of Aremberg did consent. 

The lord admiral (Nottingham) who was standing by with the lady Ara- 
bella, spoke to the court. 

" The lady doth here protest, upon her salvation, that she never dealt in any 
of these things ; and so she willed me to tell the court." 

Lord Cecil. — The lord Cobham wrote to my lady Arabella, to know if he 
might come to speak with her, and gave her to understand that there were 
some about the king that laboured to disgrace her ; she doubted it was but a 
trick. But Brook saith, his brother moved him to procure Arabella to write 
letters to the king of Spain ; but he saith he never did it. 

Raleigh, — The lord Cobham hath accused me, you see in what manner he 
hath foresworn it. Were it not for his accusation, all this were nothing ; let 
him be asked, if I knew of the letter which Lawrency brought to him from 
Aremberg. Ler me speak for my life, it can be no hurt for him to be brought ; 
he dares not accuse me. If you grant me not this favour, I am strangely used. 
Campion was not denied to have his accusers face to face. 

Lord chief-justice. — Since he must needs have justice, the acquitting of his 
old friend may move him to speak otherwise than the truth. 

Raleigh. — If I had been the infuser of all these treasons into him. You, 
gentlemen of the jury, mark this ; he said I have been the cause of all his 
miseries, and the destruction of his house, and that all evils have happened 
unto him by my wicked counsel. If this be true, whom hath he cause to 
accuse, and be revenged on, but on me? And I know him to be as revenge- 
ful as any man on earth. 

Attorney. — He is a party, and may not come ; the law is against it. 

Raleigh, — It is a toy to tell me of law. I defy such law ; I stand on the fact. 

Lord Cecil. — I am afraid my often speaking (who am inferior to my lords 
here present) will make the world think I delight to hear myself talk. My 
affection to you, sir Walter Raleigh, was not extinguished, but slacked, in 
regard of your deserts. You know the law of the realm (to which your mind 
doth not contest) that my lord Cobham cannot be brought. 

Raleigh, — He may be, my lord. 

Lord Cecil. — But dare you challenge itl 

Raleigh . — No. 

Lord Cecil. — You say that my lord Cobham, your main accuser, must come 
to accuse you. You say he hath retracted : I say, many particulars are not 
retracted. What the validity of all this is, is merely left to the jury. Let 
me ask you this, if my lord Cobham will say you were the only instigator of 
him to proceed in the treasons, dare you put yourself on this 1 

Raleigh. — If he will speak it before God and the king, that ever I knew of 
Arabella's matter, or the money out of Spain, or the surprising treason, I 
put myself on it, God's will and the king's be done with me. 

Lord H. Howard. — How if he speak things equivalent to that you have 
said ■? 

Raleigh. — Yes, in a main point. 

Lord Cecil. — If he say you have often instigated him to deal with the Spa- 
nish king, have not the council cause to draw you hither ? 

Raleigh. — I put myself on it. 

Lord Cecil. — Then, sir Walter Raleigh, call upon God, and prepare your- 


self; for I do verily believe my lords will prove this. Excepting your faults 
(I call them no worse), by God, I am your friend. The heat and passion in 
you, and the attorney's zeal in the king's service, make me speak this. 

Raleigh. — Whosoever is the workman, it is reason he should give account 
of his work to the work-master. But let it be proved that he acquainted me 
with any of his conferences with Aremberg : he would surely have given me 
some account. 

Lord Cecil. — That follows not. If I set you on work and you give me no 
account, am I therefore innocent ? 

Attorney. — For the lady Arabella, I say she was never acquainted with the 
matter. Now that Raleigh had conference in all these treasons, it is mani- 
fest ; the jury hath heard the matter. There is one Dyer, a pilot, that being 
in Lisbon, met with a Portuguese gentleman who asked him if the king of 
England was crowned yet ■? to whom he answered 1 think not yet, but he 
shall be shortly. Nay, saith the Portuguese, that shall never be, for his 
throat will be cut by Don Raleigh and Don Cobham before he be crowned. 

Dyer was called and sworn, and delivered this evidence : 

Dyer. — I came to a merchant's house in Lisbon, to see a boy that I had 
there ; there came a gentleman into the house, and inquiring what country- 
man I was? I said, an Englishman, Whereupon he asked me, if the king 
was crowned ] and I answered, no, but that I hoped he should be so shortly. 
Nay, saith he, he shall never be crowned ; for Don Raleigh and Don Cobham 
will cut his throat e'er that day come. 

Raleigh. — What infer you upon this 1 

Attorney. — That your treason hath wings. 

Raleigh. — If Cobham did practice with Aremberg, how could it not but be 
known in Spain ? Why did they name the Duke of Buckingham with Jack 
Straw's treason, and the Duke of York with Jack Cade, but that it was to 
countenance his treason. 

Consider, you gentlemen of the jury, there is no cause so doubtful, which 
the king's counsel cannot make good against the law. Consider my dis- 
ability and their ability : they prove nothing against me, only they bring the 
accusation of my lord Cobham, which he hath lamented and repented as 
heartily as if it liad been for an liorrible murder : for he knew that all this sor- 
row, which should come to me, is by his means. Presumptions must pro- 
ceed from precedent or subsequent facts. I have spent 40,000 crowns against 
the Spaniard. I had not purchased £W a-year. If I had died in Guiana, 1 
had not left 300 marks a year to my wife and son. I have always condemn- 
ed the Spanish faction, methinks it is a strange thingthat now I should assist 
it ! Remember what St. Austin says, " Sicjudicate tanquam ah alio moxjudi- 
candi ; unus judex, unum tribunal.'''' If j^ou would be contented on presump- 
tions to be delivered up to be slaughtered, to have your wives and children 
turned into the streets to beg their bread : if you would be contented to be so 
judged, judge so of me. 

Sergtant Philips. — I hope to make this so clear, as that the wit of man 
shall have no colour to answer it. The matter is treason in the highest de- 
gree, the end to deprive the king of his crown. The particular treasons are 
these : First, to raise up rebellion, and to effect that, to procure money ; to 
raise up tumults in Scotland, by divulging a treasonable book against the 
king's right to the crown; the purpose, to take away the life of his majesty 
and his issue. My lord Cobham confesseth sir Walter Raleigh to be guilty 
of all these treasons. The question is, whether he be guilty as joining with 
him, or instigating of him 1 The course to prove this was by my lord Cob- 
ham's accusation. If that be true, he is guilty ; if not, he is clear. So 
whether Cobham say true, or Raleigh, that is the question. Raleigh 
answer, but the shadow of as much wit as the wit of man can devise. He 
useth his bare denial ; the denial of a defendant must not move the jury. In 
the Star-chamber, or in the Chancery, for matter of title, if the defendant be 
R 2 


called in question, his denial on his oath is no evidence to the court to clear 
him, he doth it \n propria causa,- therefore nnuch less in matters of treason, 
Cobham's testilication against him before then, and since, hath been largely 

Raleigh. — If truth be constant, and constancy be in truth, why hath he fore- 
sworn that that he hath said ? You have not proved any one thingagainst me 
by direct proofs, but all by circumstances. 

Mtorney. — Have you done ] The king must have the last. 

lialcigh. — Nay, Mr. Attorney, he which speaketh for his life, must speak last. 
False repetitions and mistakings must not mar my cause. You should speak 
secundum allega et probata. I appeal to God and the king in this point, whe- 
ther Cobham's accusation be sufficient to condemn me ? 

Attorney. — The king's safety and your clearing cannot agree. I protest, 
before God I never knew a clearer treason. 

Raleigh. — I never had intelligence with Cobham since I came to the 

Attorney. — Go too, I will lay thee upon thy back, for the most confident 
traitor that ever came to a bar. Why should you take 8000 crowns for a 
peace 1 

Lord Cecil. — Be not so impatient, good I\Ir. Attorney, give him leave to 

Attorney. — If I may not be patiently heard, you will encourage traitors, and 
discourage us. I am the king's sworn servant, and must speak : If he been 
guilty, he is a traitor ; if not, deliver him. 

Here the attorney sat down in a passion and would speak no more, until the 
commissioners urged and entreated him. After much ado he went on, and 
made along repetition of all the evidence, for the direction of the jury; and, 
at the repeating some things, sir Walter Raleigh interrupted him, and said, 
" He did him wrong." 

.ittorney. — Thou art the most vile and execrable traitor that ever lived. 

Raleigh. — You speak indiscreetly, barbarously, and uncivilly. 

Attorney. — I want words sufficient to express thy viperous treasons. 

Raleigh. — I think you want words indeed, for you have spoken one thing 
half a dozen times. 

Attorney. — Thou art an odious fellow, thy name is hateful to all the realm 
of England for thy pride. 

Raleigh. — It will go near to prove a measuring cast between you and me, 
Mr. Attorney. 

.Attorney. — Well I will now make it appear to the world, that there never lived 
a viler viper upon the face of the earth than thou ; and therewithal he drew 
a letter out of his pocket, saying further. My lords, you shall see, this is an 
agent that hath written a treatise against the Spaniard, and hath ever so de- 
tested him ; this is he that hath spent so much money against him in ser- 
vice ; and yet you shall all see whether his heart be not wholly Spanish. The 
lord Cobham, who of his own nature was a good and honourable gentleman 
till overtaken by this wretch ; now, finding his conscience heavily Ijurthened 
with some courses which the subtilty of this traitor had drawn him into, my 
lords, he could be at no rest with himself, nor quiet in his thoughts, until he 
was eased of that heavy weight ; out of which passion of his mind, and dis- 
charge of his duty to his prince, and his conscience to God, taking it upon his 
salvation that he wrote nothing but the truth, with his own hands he wrote 
this letter. Now, sir, you shall see whether you had intelligence with Cob- 
ham, within four days before he came to the Tower. If he be wholly Spa- 
nish, that desired a pension of £1500 a year from Spain, that Spain, by him, 
tTiight have intelligence, then Kaleigh is a traitor. He hath taken an apple, 
and pinned a letter into it, and thrown it into my lord Cobham's window ; the 
contents whereof were this, " It is doubtful whether we shall be proceeded with 
or no, perhaps you will not be tried." This was to get a retraction. Oh I it 


was Adam's apple whereby the devil did deceive him. Further, he wrote 
thus, " Do not as my lord of Essex did ; take heed of a preacher ; for by his 
persuasion he confessed, and made himself guilty." I doubt not but this day 
God shall have as great a conquest by this traitor, and the Son of God shall be 
as much glorified, as when it was said, Vicisti Galilaee ,- you know my meaning. 
What though Cobham retracted, yet he could not rest nor sleep till he con- 
firmed it again. If this be not enough to prove him a traitor, the king, my 
master, shall not live three years to an end. — 

Here the attorney produced the lord Cobham's letter, and, as he read it, 
inserted some speeches : — 

" I have thought fit to set down this to my lords, wherein I protest, on my 
soul, to write nothing but the truth. I am now come near the period of my 
time; therefore, I confess the whole truth before God and his angels. Ra- 
leigh, four days before I came from the Tower, caused an apple {Evc''s upplt) 
to be thrown in at my chamber-window ; the effect of it was to entreat me 
to right the wrong that I had done him, in saying, that I should have come 
home by Jersey; which, under my hand to him, I have retracted. His first 
letter I answered not, which was thrown in the same manner, wherein he 
prayed me to write him a letter, which I did. He sent me word that the 
judges met at ]\Ir. Attorney's house, and that there was good hope the proceed- 
ings against us should be stayed ; he sent me, another time, a little tobacco. 
At Aremberg's coming, Raleigh was to have procured a pension of fifteen 
hundred pounds a year ; for which he promised that no action should be 
against Spain, the Low Countries, or the Indies, but he would give informa- 
tion before hand. He told me the states had audience with the king. (Jftor- 
ney. — ' Ah is not this a Spanish heart in an English body V) He hath been 
the original cause of my ruin; for I had no dealing with Aremherg, but by 
his instigation. He hath also been the cause of my discontentment ; he ad- 
vised me not to be overtaken with preachers, as Essex was ; and that the 
king would better allow of a constant denial, than to accuse any." 

Mtornty. — Oh ! damnable Atheist ! he hath learned some text of Scripture 
to serve his own purpose, but falsely alleged. He counsels him not to be 
counselled by preachers, as Essex was: He died the child of God, God 
honoured him at his death ; thou wast by when he died. Et Lupus et Turpes 
instant morientibus ursse. He died indeed for his oiTence. The king himself 
spake these words ; He that shall say Essex died not for treason is punishable. 

Raleigh. — You have heard a strange tale of a strange man. Now, he 
thinks, he hath matter enough to destroy me ; but the king, and all of you, 
shall witness by our deaths, which of us was the ruin of the other. I bade a 
poor fellow throw in the letter at the window, written to this purpose, " You 
know you have undone me, now write three lines to justify me." In this I 
will die, that he hath done me wrong : Why did not he acquaint me with his 
treasons, if I acquainted him with my dispositions ? 

Lord chief-justice. — But what say you now to the rest of the letter, and the 
pension of £1500 per annum ? 

Raleigh. — I say that Cobham is a base, dishonourable poor soul. 

Attorney. — Is he base ] I return it into thy throat, on his behalf: but for 
thee, he had been a good subject. 

Lord chief-justice. — I perceive you are not so clear a man as you have pro 
tested all this while; for you should have discovered these matters to the 

Here Raleigh pulled a letter out of his pocket, which the lord Cobham had 
written to him, and desired lord Cecil to read it, because he only knew his 
hand ; the effect of it was as followeth : — 

Cobham'' s letter of justification to Raleigh. 
Seeing myself so near my end, for the discharge of my own conscience, 
and freeing myself from your blood, which else will cry vengeance against 


me ; I protest, upon my salvation, I never practised viith Spain by your pro- 
curement : God so comfort me in this my aflliction, as you are a true subject, 
for any thing that I know. I will say as Daniel, " Purus sum a sanguine 
nujusy So God have mercy on my soul, as 1 know no treason by you. 

Raleigh, — Now I wonder how many souls this man hath ! he damns one 
in this letter, and another in that. 

Here much tumult ensued. Mr. Attorney all erred that his last letter was 
politically and cunningly urged from the lord Cobham, and that the first was 
simply the truth ; and that lest it should seem doubtful that the first letter 
was drawn from lord Cobham by promise of mercy, or hope of favour, the 
lord chief-justice wished that the jury might herein be satisfied. 

Whereupon the earl of Devonshire declared that the same was merely volun- 
tary, and not extracted from the lord Cobham upon any hopes or promises of 

This was the last evidence : whereupon the marshal was sworn to keep 
the jury private. The jury departed, and stayed not a quarter of an hour, but 
returned, and gave their verdict. Guilty. 

Serjeant Heale demanded judgment against the prisoner. 

Clerk of the Crown. — Sir Walter Raleigh, thou hast been indicted, arraigned, 
and hast pleaded not guilty, for all these several treasons, and for trial thereof 
hast put thyself upon thy country ; which country are these who have found 
thee guilty. What canst thou say for thyself, why judgment, and execution 
of death, should not pass against thee 1 

Raleigh. — My lords, the jury have found me guilty. They must do as they 
are directed. I can say nothing why judgment should not proceed. You 
see whereof Cobham hath accused me. You remember his protestations that 
I was never guilty. I desire the king should know of the wrongs done unto 
me since I came hither. 

Lord chief-justice. — You have had no wrong, sir Walter. 

Raleigh. — Yes, of Mr. Attorney. I desire my lords to remember three 
things to the king. 1st. I was accused of being a practiser with Spain. I 
never knew that my lord Cobham meant to go thither ; I will ask no mercy 
at the king's hands, if he will affirm it. 2(1. I never knew of the practice 
with Arabella. 3d. I never knew of my lord Cobham's practice with Arem- 
berg, nor of the surprising treason. 

Lord chief-justice, — In my conscience I am persuaded that Cobham hath 
accused you truly. You cannot deny but that you were dealt with to have a 
pension to be a spy for Spain ; therefore j'ou are not so true to the king as 
you have protested yourself to be. 

Raleigh. — I submit myself to the king's mercy ; I know his mercy is greater 
than my otfence. I recommend my wife, and son of tender years, unbrought 
up, to his compassion. 

Lord chi(f justice. — I thought I should never have seen this day, to have 
stood in this place to give sentence of death against- you; because I thought 
it impossible, that one of so great parts should have fallen so grievously. 
God hath bestowed on you many benefits. You had been a man fit and able 
to have served the king in a good place. You had brought yourself into a 
good state of living, if you had entered into a good consideration of your 
estate, and not suffered your own wit to have entrapped yourself, you might 
have lived in good comfort. It is best for man not to seek to climb too high, 
lest he fall ; nor yet to creep too low, lest he be trodden on. It was the 
maxim of the wisest and greatest counsellor of our time in England, Li medio 
spatio mediocria firma locuntur. You might have lived well with £3000 a 
year, for so I have heard your revenues to be. I know of nothing that could 
move you to he discontented ; but if you had been down, you know fortune's 
wheel, when it is turned about, riseth again. I never heard that the king 
took away any thing from you, but the captainship of the guard, which he did 
with very good reason, to have one of his own knowledge, whom he might 


trust, in that place. You have been taken for a wise man, and have showed 
wit enough this day. Again, for monopolies for wine, &c. If tiie kinghad 
said, it is a matter that offends my people, should I burthen them for your 
private good 1 I think you could not well take it hardly, that his subjects were 
eased, though by your private hindrance. Two vices have lodged chiefly in 
you ; one is an eager ambition, the other corrupt covetousness. Ambition, in 
desiring to be advanced to equal grace and favour, as you have been before- 
time ; that grace you had then, you got not in a day or a year. For your 
covetousness, I am sorry to hear that a gentleman of your wealth should be- 
come a base spy for the enemy, 'which is the vilest of all other; wherein, on 
my conscience, Cobham hath said true : by it you would have increased your 
living £1500 a year. This covetousness is like a canker, that eats the iron 
place where it lives. Your case being thus, let it not grieve }'ou, if I speak 
a Kttle out of zeal and love to your good. You have been taxed by the world 
with the defence of the most heathenish and blasphemous opinions, which I 
list not to repeat, because Christian ears cannot endure to hear them, nor the 
authors and maintainers of them be suffered to live in any Christian common- 
wealth. You know what men said of Harpool. You will do well, before 
you go out of the world, to give satisfaction therein, and not to die with these 
imputations on you. Let not any devil persuade you to think there is no eternity 
in Heaven : for if you think thus, you shall find eternity in hell-lire. In the 
first accusation of my lord Cobham, I observed his manner of speaking; I 
protest before the living God, I am persuaded he spoke nothing but the truth. 
You wrote, that he should not, in any case, confess any thing to a preacher, 
telling him an example of my lord of Essex, that noble earl that is gone; 
who, if he had not been carried away with others, had lived in honour to this 
day among us. He confessed his offences, and obtained mercy of the Lord, 
for I am verily persuaded in my heart, he died a worthy servant of God. 
Your conceit of not confessing any thing is very inhuman and wicked. In 
this world is the time of confessing, that we may be absolved at the day of 
judgment. You have shown a fearful sign of denying God, in advising a 
man not to confess the truth. It now comes in my mind, why you may not 
have your accuser come face to face ; for such an one is easily brought to 
retract, when he seeth there is no hope of his own life. It is dangerous that 
any traitors should have any access to, or conference with one another ; when 
they see themselves must die, they will think it best to have their fellow 
live, that he may commit the like treason again, and so in some sort seek 

Now it resteth to pronounce the judgment, which I wish you had not 
been this day to have received of me : for if the fear of God in you had been 
answerable to your other great parts, you might have lived to have been a 
singular good subject. I never saw the like trial, and I hope I shall never 
see the like again. 


But, since you have been found guilty of these horrible treasons, the judg- 
ment of this court is, that you shall be had from hence to the place whence 
you came, there to remain until the day of execution ; and from thence you 
shall be drawn, upon a hurdle, through the open streets to the place of execu- 
tion, there shall be hanged and cut down alive, and your body shall be 
opened, your heart and bowels plucked out, and your privy members cut off, 
and thrown into the fire before your eyes ; then your head shall be struck off 
from your body, and your body shall be divided into four quarters, to be 
disposed of at the king's pleasure. And God have mercy upon your soul. 

Sir Walter Raleioh besought the earl of Devonshire, and the lords, to be 
suitors in his behalf to the king ; that in record to places of estimation he 
did bear in his majesty's timi^, the rigour of ms judgment might be qualified, 
and his death honourable and not icrnominious. 


Wherein, after they had promised him to do their utmost endeavours, the 
court rose, and the prisoner was carried up again to the castle. 

It was observed, that before the lords" (principally to lord Cecil) at 
Winchester (for there he was tried, the sickness then reigning- in London), 
he was humble, but not abject; dutiful, but not dejected ; for, in some cases, 
he would humbly thank them for gracious speeches ; in others acknowledge 
that their worships said true, as relating to some circumstances. And in 
such points wherein he would not yield unto them, he would crave pardon, 
and with reverence urge them, and answer them as in points of law, or essen- 
tial matters of fact. To the jury, he was affable, but not fawning ; hoping, 
but not trusting in them ; carefully persuading them with reason, not intem- 
perately importuning them ; and upon the whole rather showing love of life, 
than fear of death. What bore hard against sir Walter, was his discovery 
of Lawrency and Cobham's frequent conferences ; which so incensed Cob- 
ham, that he positively accused him ; though the single evidence of one 
already convicted of what sir Walter was but impeached, could only make a 
circumstance, and not convict him. The judges and the king's counsel did 
what they could to clamour him out of liis life ; and, since they wanted 
proof, they endeavoured to tire him out. If we may believe Osborn, several 
of the jurymen, after he was cast, were so far touched in conscience as to ask 
of him pardon on their knees. 

A further confirmation of his innocence may be a passage of his own, in a 
letter to secretary Winwood, wherein he tells him, " That the worthy prince 
of Wales was extremely curious in searching out the nature of his offences. 
The queen's majesty had informed herself from the beginning. The king of 
Denmark, at both times of his being here, was thoroughly satisfied of his 
innocence ; they would otherwise never have moved his majesty on his 
behalf. The wife, the brother, and the son of a king do not use to sue for 
suspected men." Nay, further yet, the Scots themselves declared in favour 
of him, if we may believe him in another letter of his to sir Robert Car, after- 
wards earl of Somerset, wherein are these words : " I have ever been 
bound to your nation, as well for many other graces, as for the true report of 
my trial to the king's majesty, against whom, had I been malignant, the 
hearing of my cause could not have changed enemies into friends, malice into 
compassion, and the minds of the greatest number, then present, into com- 
miseration of mine estate. It is not the nature of foul treason to beget such 
fair passions ; neither could it agree with the duty and love of faithful sub- 
jects (especially of your nation), to bewail his overthrow that had conspired 
against their most natural and liberal lord." 

Two days after. Raleigh's trial, were sentenced Brook, who pretended his 
intention was only to try faithful subjects, and said he had a commission for 
so doing, but produced it not; Markham, who confessed the indictment, 
pleaded discontent, and desired mercy ; Watson, who confessed that he drew 
them all in, holding the king to be no sovereign till he was crowned, in- 
stancing in Saul and Jeroboam ; and Clark, who said the like. Parham and 
Brooksby were acquitted by the jury. Watson, Clark, and Brook were 
executed ; Markham, Cobliarn, and Grey, brought severally on the scaffold 
to die, and at the instant they were on the block, had their particular execu- 
tions remitted, by a letter to the sheriff, under the king's own hand, without 
the knowledge of any, save Mr. Gibbs, gentleman of the bedchamber, who 
brought it. However, an evil fate attended these men; Grey died in the 
Tower, the last of his line ; the rest were discharged, but died miserably 
poor: Markham and some others abroad ; but Cobham (as Osborn tells us) 
in a room, ascended by a ladder, at a poor woman's house in the Minories 
(formerly his laundress), died rather of hunger. 

Sir Walter was left to his majesty's mercy, who thought him too great a 
malcontent to have his freedom, and probably too innocent to lose his life. 
He was therefore confined in the Tower, but permitted to enjoy libera cus- 



todla,- where he employed his imprisonment in obtaining learning and 
science of various kinds. Since his majesty had buried him, and, as it were, 
banished him from this world, he thought it no treason to disturb the ashes 
of former times, and bring to view the actions of deceased heroes. And, 
certainly, none was so fit to comment on their achievements, and so able to 
raise excellent maxims from them, as he who had been brought up in so wise 
a court as that of queen Elizabeth, and read so many wise men. After some 
time passed there, he completed the History of the World ; a book which, 
for the exactness of its chronology, singularity of its contexture, and learning 
of all sorts, seems to be the work of an age. That a man who had been 
the greatest part of his life taken up in action, should write so judiciously, so 
critically of times and actions, is as great a wonder as the book itself. It 
still remains a dispute, whether the age he lived in was more obliged to his 
pen or his sword, the one being busy in conquering the new, the other in so 
eloquently describing the old world. An history wherein the only fault, or 
defect rather, is, that it wanted the one-half; which was occasioned, as our 
story tells us, thus ; some few days before he suffered, he sent for Mr. W al- 
ter Burr, who formerly printed his first volume of the History of the World, 
whom taking by the hand, after some other discourse, he asked how it had 
sold T Mr. Burr returned this answer, " It sold so slowly that it had undone 
him." At these words sir Walter, stepping to his desk, took the other un- 
printed part of his history, which he had brought down to the times he 
lived in, and clapping his hand upon his breast, said, with a sigh, " Ah ! my 
friend, hath the first part undone thee? the second part shall undo no more ; 
this ungrateful world is unworthy of it!" and immediately going to the fire- 
side, threw it in, and set his foot upon it till it was consumed. As great a 
loss to learning as Christendom could have sustained ; the greater, because it 
could be repaired by no hand but his. 

Fourteen years sir Walter spent in the Tower, and being weary of a state 
wherein he could be only serviceable by his pen, but not in a capacity of 
serving and enriching his country any other way (of whom prince Henry 
would say, that no king but his father would keep such a bird in a cage), at 
length commenced an enterprise of a gold mine in Guiana, in the southern 
parts of America. The proposition of this was presented and recommended 
to his majesty by sir Ralph Winwood, then secretary of state, as a matter 
not in the air, and speculative; but real, and of certainty : for that sir Walter had 
seen some ore of the mine, and tried the richness of it, having gotten a pound 
from thence by the hands of captain Kemish, his ancient servant. 

Sir Ralph Winwood's recommendation of the design, and the earnest soli- 
citations of the queen, the prince, and the French lieger for his enlargement, 
together with the asseverations of sir Walter of the truth of the mine, worked 
upon his majesty, who thought himself in honour obliged, nay, in a manner 
engaged (as the declaration which he published after the death of sir Walter 
tells us), not to deny unto his people the adventure and hope of such great 
riches to be sought and achieved at the charge of volunteers ; especially 
since it stood so well with his majesty's politic courses in those times of 
peace, to nourish and encourage noble and generous enterprises for planta- 
tions, discoveries, and opening a new trade. 

Count Gondamor (an active and subtile instrument to serve his master's 
ends) took alarm at this, and represented to his majesty the enterprise of sir 
Walter to be hostile and predatory, intending a breach of the peace between 
the two crowns. But notwithstanding, the power at last was granted to sir 
Walter to procure ships and men for that service. However, the king com- 
manded him upon pain of his allegiance, to give him, under his hand (pro- 
mising on the word of a king to keep it a secret), the number of his men, the 
burthen and strength of his ships, together with the country and river he was 
to enter ; which, being done accordingly by sir Walter, that very original 
paper was found in the Spanish governor's closet, at St. Thomas ! so active 



were the Spanish ministers, that intelligence was sent to Spain, and thence 
to the Indies, before the English fleet got out of the Thames. 

But, as we have just cause to admire the more than usual activitjr of the 
Spanish agents, so may we wonder no less at the baseness of his majesty's 
ministers ; wiio notwithstanding he had passed his royal word to the contrary, 
yet did they help count Gondamor to that very paper ; so much both the 
icing and court were at Gondamor's service. 

His commission for this Guiana expedition we shall pass over ; with it, 
and the company of several brave captains, and other knights and gen^ 
tlemen of great blood and worth, he set out in quest of the mine, with a com- 
plete fleet of twelve sail. 

On the 17th of November he arrived at Guiana, having been much retarded 
by contrary winds, and having lost several of his volunteers in the voyage, 
by a violent calenture. What he did there, and at St. Thomas, is too long 
to rehearse. In his apology, he says, the Spaniards began the hostilities, 
which occasioned his falling upon the place. While that action was per- 
forming sir Walter staid at Point de Gallo during nine weeks, where the un- 
welcome news was brought him of the loss of his son, and the defeat they 
met with in their design upon the mine. However, this ill news could not 
alter the resolution of sir Walter, of returning to England, though he knew 
he should meet with several enemies there, who had, by their calumnies, 
rendered the voyage nothing but a design ; and, though several of his m.en 
were for landing at Newfoundland ; for if we may believe himself, at the 
hour of his death, the two noble earls, Thomas of Arundel, and William of 
Pembroke, engaged him to return ; and sir Walter was resolved, though in- 
evitable danger threatened him, to keep his promise. 

No sooner had they arrived upon the coasts of Ireland, but the taking and 
sacking of St. Thomas, firing of the town, and putting the Spaniards there to 
the sword (though in their own defence), was noised abroad in all parts, and 
was, by special intelligence, communicated to count de Gondamor ; who 
thereupon, desiring audience of his majesty, said he had but one word to say ; 
his majesty, much wondering what might be delivered in one word, when he 
came before him he bawled only out, " pirates ! pirates ! pirates!"' — a very 
curious speech for an ambassador. Whereupon his majesty published his ro3'al 
proclamation, for the discovery of the truth of sir Walter Raleigh's proceed- 
ing, and the advancement of justice. But, after all this noise, sir Walter 
was not questioned for his Guiana action ; for it is believed, not without very 
good ground, that neither the transgression of his commission, nor any thing 
acted beyond the line, where the articles of peace between the two courts did 
not extend, could have, in a legal course of trial, shortened his days. 

When sir Walter Raleigh was arrived at Plymouth, sir Lewis Stukely, 
vice-admiral of the county of Devon, seized him, being commissioned by his 
majesty to bring him to London ; which gave little terror to a person who 
could expect nothing less ; and he was now forced to make use of all the 
arts imaginable to appease his majesty and avert his anger. To this intent, 
Manowry, a French quack at Salisbury, gave him several vomits, and an 
artificial composition, which made him look ghastly and dreadful, full of pim- 
ples and blisters, so as to deceive the physicians themselves, who could not 
tell what to make of his urine (though often inspected), being adulterated 
with a drug in the glass, that turned it, even in their hands, to an earthy hu- 
mour of a blackish colour, and of a very offensive savour. 

While he lay under this disguise, he penned his declaration and apology, 
which have sufficiently proved his honourable designs in that voyage, and 
answered the little calumnies of his enemies. When he was brought to 
London, he was allowed the confinement of his own house ; but finding the 
court wholly guided by Gondamor, he could hope for little mercy ; therefore, 
he wisely contrived the design of an esca])e into France, which sir Lewis 
Stukely betrayed. But the fate of traitors pursued him, and brought him to 

J' •■ - 


a contemptible end ; he died a poor distracted beggar in the isle of Lindey, 
having, for a bag of money, falsified his faith, confirmed by the tie of the 
sacrament (if we may give credit to Mr. Hovs^el, who hath given us this 
story) ; for before the year came about, he was found clipping the very same 
coin in the king's own house, at Whitehall, which he had received for a re- 
ward of his perfidiousness ; for which, being condemned to be hanged, he 
was forced to sell himself to his shirt, to purchase his pardon of two knights. 

King James was willing to sacrifice the life of sir Walter to the advance- 
ment of peace with Spain, but not upon such grounds as the ambassador had 
designed; for he desired a judgment upon the pretended breach of peace, 
that by this occasion he might slily gain from the English an acknowledg- 
ment of his master's right in those places, and thereafter both stop their 
mouths, and quench their heat and valour. Hence upon his old condemna- 
tion (for having had experience upon a former trial, they cared not to run the 
hazard of a second), he was sentenced : the old judgment being only averred 
against him. 

Sir Walter being brought to the bar on the 28th of October, 1G18, Mr. 
Attorney (Mr. Henry Yelverton) spake in effect thus : — 

" My lords, sir Walter Raleigh, the prisoner at the bar, was, fifteen years 
since, convicted of high-treason, by him committed against the person of his 
majesty, and state of this kingdom, and then received the judgment of death, 
to be hanged, drawn, and quartered. His majesty of his abundant grace 
hath been pleased to show mercy upon him, till now that justice calls unto 
him for execution. 

" Sir Walter Raleigh hath been a statesman, and a man, who, in regard to 
his parts and quality, is to be pitied. He hath been as a star at which the 
world hath gazed ; but stars may fall ; nay, they must fall when they trouble the 
sphere wherein they abide. It is, therefore, his majesty's pleasure now to 
call for execution of the former judgment, and I now require order for the 

The record of his conviction and judgment being read; then the prisoner 
being asked, "what he could say for himself why execution should not be 
awarded against him," he spoke shortly, that he had been, since his convic- 
tion, intrusted with power as marshal over life and death, and that he was 
therefore discharged of the judgment; but these matters being immediately 
ruled against him, he sent in to complain that he had hard measure in his 
former trial, and to petition for the king's mercy. 

Lord chief-justice (sir Henry Montague). — Sir Walter Raleigh, you must 
remember yourself; you had an honourable trial, and you were justly con- 
victed, and it were wisdom in you now to submit yourself, and to confess 
your olfence did justly draw upon you that judgment which was then pro- 
nounced against you ; wherefore I pray you, attend what I shall say unto 
you. I am here called to grant execution upon the judgment given you fif- 
teen years since ; all which time you have been as a dead man in the law, 
and might at any minute have been cut off, but that the king in mercy spared 
you. You might think it strange if this were done in cold blood, to call 
you to execution, but it is not so : for new offences have stirred up his ma- 
jesty's justice to remember to revive what the law hath formerly cast upon 
you. I know you have been valiant and wise, and I doubt not but you re- 
tain both those virtues, for you now shall have occasion to use them. Your 
faith hath heretofore been questioned, but I am resolved you are a good Chris- 
tian ; for your book, which is an admirable work, doth testify as much. I 
would give you counsel, but I know you can apply unto yourself, far better than 
I am able to give you ; yet will I, with the good neighbour in the gospel, who, 
finding one in the way wounded and distressed, poured oil into his wounds and 
refreshed him. I give unto you the oil of comfort, yet in respect that I am 
a minister of the law, mixed with vinegar. Sorrow will not avail you in 
some kind : for were you pained, sorrow would not ease you ; were youafflict- 


ed, sorrow would not relieve you ; were you tormented, sorrow would not con- 
tent you : and yet the sorrow for your sins would be an everlasting comfort to 
you. You must do as that valiant captain did, who, perceiving himself 
in danger, said, in defiance of death, '■^ Death, thou expecte&t me, hut, luuugrt 
thy spite, I expect Mee." Fear not death too much, nor fear not death too little ; 
not too much, lest you fail in your hopes; not too little, lest you die presump- 
tuously. And here I must conclude with my prayers to God for it, and that 
he would have mercy on your soul. 

And so the lord chief-justice ended with these words, " execution is granted." 
From Westminster-hall he was carried to the Gate-house, and from thence, 
the next morning, to the Parliament-yard, where he had the favour of the 
axe granted him. All persons have wondered how that old sentence, that 
had laid dormant sixteen years and upwards against sir Walter, could have 
been made use of to take oif his head afterwards. Considering the then lord- 
chancellor Verulam told him positively (as sir Walter was acquainting him 
with that proffer of sir William St, Geon, for a pecuniary pardon, which 
might have been obtained for a less sum than his Guiana preparations amount- 
ed to), in these words : " Sir, the knee-timber of your voyage is money ; 
spare your purse in this particular ; for, upon my life, you have a sufficient 
pardon for all that is passed already ; the king having, under his broad seal, 
made you admiral of your fleet, and given you power of martial-law over the 
officers and soldiers," It was the opinion of most lawyers, that he who, by 
his majesty's patent, had power of life and death over the king's liege people, 
should be esteemed or judged rectus in curia, and free from all old convic- 
tions. But sir Walter made the best defence for his Guiana actions in his 
letter to his majesty, which we have here inserted, 

" May it please your most excellent Majesty, 
If, in my journey outward-bound, I had my men murdered at the island, 
and yet refused to take revenge; if I did discharge some Spanish barks 
taken, without spoil ; if I did forbear all parts of the Spanish Indies, wherein 
I might have taken twenty of their towns, on the sea-coast, and did only 
follow the enterprise I undertook for Guiana, where, without any directions 
from me, a Spanish village was burnt, which was new set up, within three 
miles of the mine ; by your majesty's favour, I find no reason why the Spa- 
nish ambassador should complain of me. If it were lawful for the Spaniards 
to murder twenty-six Englishmen, binding them back to back, and then 
cutting their throats, when they had traded with them a whole month, and 
came to them on the land without so much as one sword ; and that it 
may not be lawful for your majesty's subjects, being charged first by them, 
to repel force by force, we may justly say, O miserable English! If Parker 
and Metham took Campeachy, and other places in the Honduras, seated in 
the heart of the Spanish Indies, burnt towns, killed the Spaniards, and had 
nothing said to them at their return, and myself forbore to look into the 
Indies, because I would not offend ; I may justly say, O miserable sir Walter 
Raleigh ! If I spent my poor estate, lost my son, suffered by sickness, and 
otherwise a world of miseries ; if I have resisted, with the manifest hazard 
of my life, the robberies and spoils which my company would have made; 
if, when I was poor, I might have made myself rich ; if, when I had got my 
liberty, which all men and nature itself doth so much prize, 1 voluntarily 
lost it; if, when I was sure of my life, I rendered it again ; if I might else- 
where have sold my ship and goods, and put 5 or £0000 in my pocket, and 
yet have brought her into England ; I beseech your majesty to believe, that 
all this I have done, because it should not be said to your majesty, that your 
majesty had given liberty and trust to a man whose end was but the recovery 
of his liberty, and who had betraj^ed your majesty's trust. My mutineers 
told me, that if I returned to England, I should be undone; but I believed 
i."l your majesty's goodness more than in all their arguments. Sure I am, 



chat I am the first that, being free and able to enrich myself, have embraced 
poverty and peril ; and as sure I am, that my example shall make me the last- 
But your majesty's wisdom and goodness I have ever made my judges who 
have ever been and shall ever be, 

"Your majesty's most humble vassal, 

" Walter Raleigh." 

This noble and eloquent apology could not, however, satisfy Gondamor's 
rage, who was resolved to sacrifice the only favourite left of queen Elizabeth, 
to the Spanish interest ; and who, as Osborn remarks, was the only person of 
Essex's enemies that died lamented ; and the only man of note left alive, 
that had helped to beat the Spaniards in the year 1588. 

Upon Thursday, the 29th of October, 1618, sir Walter Raleigh was con- 
veyed, by the sheriffs of London, to a scaifold in Old Palace-yard, at West- 
minster, where he was executed about nine o'clock in the morning of the 
same day ; his confession and several speeches that he there delivered, we 
shall give in the words of an old author. 

His first appearance upon the scaffold was with a smiling countenance, 
saluting the lords, knights, and gentlemen, with others of his acquaintance 
there present, when, after a proclamation of silence by an officer appointed, 
he began to speak in this manner: 

"I desire to have some allowance made me, because this is the third day 
of my fever ; and if I show any weakness, I beseech you to attribute it to 
my malady, for this is the hour I look for it." 

Then pausing awhile, and directing himself towards a window, where lord 
Arundel and lord Doncaster, with some other lords and knights, sate, with a 
loud voice he said as follows : — 

" I thank God of his infinite goodness, that he hath sent me to die in the 
sight of so honourable an assembly, and not in darkness." But by reason 
the place where they sat was some distance from the scaffold, that they could 
not easily hear him, he said, " I will strain myself, for I would willingly 
have your honours hear me." 

Lord Arundel answered, " We will come upon the scaflTold ;" where, after 
he had saluted every one of them severally, he began as follows : — 

" As I said, I thank my God heartily, that he hath brought me into the light 
to die, and not suffered me to die in the dark prison of the Tower, where I have 
suffered a great deal of adversity, and a long sickness ; and I thank God that 
my fever hath not taken me at this time, as I prayed God it might not. 

" There are two main points of suspicion that his majesty hath conceived 
against me, wherein his majesty cannot be satisfied, which I desire to clear 
and resolve you in. 

" One is, that his majesty hath been informed that I have had some plot 
with France, and his majesty had some reason to induce him thereunto. One 
reason that his majesty had to conjecture so, was, that when I came back 
from Guiana, being come to Plymouth, I endeavoured to go to Rochelle, 
which was because I would fain have made my peace before I came to Eng- 
land. Another reason was, that, upon my flight 1 did intend to fly to France, 
for saving of my life, having had some terror from above. A third reason 
was, the French agent's coming to me ; and it was reported I had commis- 
sion from the king of France. 

" But this I say, for a man to call God to witness to a falsehood at any 
time is a grievous sin, and what shall we hope for at the Tribunal Day of 
Judgment ] But to call God to witness to a falsehood at the time of death, is 
far more grievous and impious, and there is no hope for such an one. And 
what should I expect, that am now going to render an account of my faith ? 
I do, therefore, call the Lord to witness, as I hope to be saved, and as I hope 
to be seen in his kingdom, which will be within this quarter of an hour, I 
never had any commission from the king of France, nor any treaty with the 


French agent, nor with any from the French king ; neither knew I that there 
was an agent, or what he was, till I met him in my gallery at my lodging 
unlocked for. If I speak not true, O Lord, let me never come into thy glory. 

'• The second suspicion was, that his majesty hath been informed that I 
should speak dishonourably and disloyally of him. But my accuser was a 
base Frenchman, a kind of chemical fellow, one whom I knew to be perfi- 
dious ; for being drawn into this action at Winchester, in which my hand 
was touched, and he being sworn to secrecy over night, revealed it in the 

" But in this I speak now, what have I to do with kings ■? I have nothing 
to do with them, neither do I fear them ; I have now to do with God ; there- 
fore, as I hope to be saved at the last day, I never spoke dishonourably, dis- 
loyally, nor dishonestly of the king, neither to this Frenchman, nor to any 
other ; neither had I ever, in all my life, a thought of ill against his majesty ; 
therefore I cannot but think it strange, that this Frenchman, being so base, 
so mean a fellow, should be so far credited ; and so much for this point. I 
have dealt truly, and I hope I shall be believed. I confess, I did attempt to 
escape, and I did dissemble, and made myself sick at Salisbury, but I hope 
it was no sin. The prophet David did make himself a fool, and did suffer 
spittle to fall upon his beard, to escape the hands of his enemies, and it was 
not imputed to him as sin ; and I did it to prolong time till his majesty came, 
hoping for some commiseration from him. 

" I forgive this Frenchman, and Sir Lewis Stukely, and have received the 
sacrament this morning from Mr. Dean ; and I do also forgive all the world. 
But thus much I am bound in charity to speak of this man, that all men may 
take good heed of him : sir Lewis Stukely, my kinsman and keeper, hath 
affirmed, that I should tell him, that I did tell lord Carew and lord Doncaster 
of my pretended escape. It was not likely that I should acquaint two privy- 
counsellors of my purpose; neither would I tell him, for he left me six, 
seven, eight, nine, or ten days, to go where I listed, while he rode about the 

" Again, he accused me, that I should tell him, that lord Carew and 
lord Doncaster would meet me in France, which was never my speech or 

"Thirdly, he accused me, that I showed him a letter, and that I should 
give him £10,000 for my escape; but cast my soul into everlasting fire, if 
ever I made him an otfer of £10,000 or £1000. I merely showed him a 
letter, that if he would go with me, his debts should be paid when he was 
gone ; neither had I £1000 ; for if I had had so much, I could have done better 
with it, and made my peace otherwise. 

" Fourthly, when I came to sir Edward Pelham, who had been sometimes a 
follower of mine, who gave me good entertainment ; he gave out that I had 
received some dram of poison in sir Edward Pelham's house; when I an- 
swered, that I feared no such thing, for I was well assured of them in the 
house. Now, God forgive him, for I do, and I desire God to forgive him. I 
will not only say, God is the God of revenge, but I desire God to forgive 
him, as I hope to be forgiven." 

Then he looked over his note of remembrance. 

" Well (saith he), thus far I have gone : now a little more, and I will have 
done by and by. 

" It was told the king I was brought per force into England, and that I did 
not intend to come again ; whereas, captain Charles Parker, Mr. Tresham, 
Mr. Leak, and divers others that knew how I was dealt withal, shall witness 
for me ; for the common soldiers (which were one hundred and fifty) mutinied, 
and sent for me to come into the gun-room to them (for at that time they 
would not come to me), and there was I forced to take an oath, that I would 
not come into England till they would have me, else they would cast me 
into the sea and drown me ; afterwards they entered rny cabin, and set 



themselves against me. After I had taken this oath, with wine and other 
things, I drew the chiefest of them to desist, and at length persuaded them 
to go into Ireland ; then they would have gone into the north parts of Ireland, 
but I told them they were redshanks; yet at last, with much ado, I per- 
suaded them to go into the south parts, promising to get their pardons ; but 
was forced to give them £125 at Kinsale, to bring them home, otherwise I 
had never got from them. 

" There was a report that I meant not to go to Guiana at all ; and that I 
knew not of any mine, nor intended any such matter, but only to get my 
liberty, which I had not the wit to keep. But it was my full intent to go for 
gold, for the benefit of his majesty and those that went with me, with the 
rest of my countrymen ; but he that knew the head of the mine would not 
discover it when he saw my son was slain, but made himself away." 

Then he turned to lord Arundel, and said, 

" Being in the gallery in my ship, at my departure, your honour took me 
by the hand, and said you would request me one thing, which was, ' that 
whether I made a good voyage or had, yet I should return again into Eng- 
land ; when I made you a promise, and gave you my faith that I would.' — 
' And so you did,' answered my loid ; ' it is true, they were the last words I 
spoke unto you.' 

"Another opinion was, that I carried to sea with me 1600 pieces, and that 
was all the voyage I intended, only to get money into my hands, and that I 
had weighed my voyage before ; whereas, I protest I had but £100 in all the 
world, whereof I gave £.25 to my wife : the reason of this speech was this ; 
there was entered £20,000, and yet but £4000 in the surveyor's book ; now I 
gave my bill for the other £l<),000 for divers adventures ; but I protest I had 
not one penny more than £100, as I hope to be saved. 

" Another slander was raised, that I would have gone away from them and 
left them at Guiana, but there were a great many worthy men that accompa- 
nied me always, as my sergeant-major George Raleigh, and divers others 
(which he then named), knew that my intent was nothing so. And these be the 
material points I thought good to speak of; I am now at this instant to render 
my account to God ; and I protest, as I shall appear before him, this that I 
have spoken is true. 

" I will speak but a word or two more, because I will not trouble Mr. 
Sheriff too long. 

"There was a report spread that I should rejoice at the death of lord 
Essex, and that I should take tobacco in his presence; when, as I protest, I 
shed tears at his death, though I was one of the contrary faction ; and, at the 
time of his death, I was all the wliile in the armory at the further end, where 
I could but see him. I was sorry that I was not with him, for I heard he 
had a desire to see me, and be reconciled to me. So that I protest I 
lamented his death, and good cause had I ; for after he was gone I was little 

" And now I entreat you all to join with me in prayer, that the great God of 
Heaven, whom I have grievously offended, being a man full of all vanity, 
and have lived a sinful life, in all sinful callings, having been a soldier, a 
captain, a sea-captain, and a courtier, which are all places of wickedness and 
vice ; that God (I say) would forgive me, and cast away my sins from me, 
and that he would receive me into everlasting life. So I take my leave of 
you all, making my peace with God." 

Then proclamation being made, that all men should depart the scaffold, he 
prepared himself for death, giving away his hat and wrought night-cap, and 
some money to such as he knew that stood near him ; taking his leave of the 
lords, knights, and other gentlemen, and among the rest, taking his leave of 
the lord of Arundel, he thanked him for his company, and entreated him to 
desire the king, that no scandalous writing to defame him might be published 
s2 21 


after his death, saying unto him, " I have a long journey to go, and therefore 
will take iriy leave." 

Then putting off his gown and doublet, he called to the headsman to show 
him the axe, which being not presently showed him, he said, " I pray thee 
let me see it, dost thou think that I am afraid of if?" And having it in 
his hands, he felt along upon the edge of it, and, smiling, spake to the she- 
riff, saying, "This is a sharp medicine, but it is a physician for all diseases." 
Then going to and fro upon the scaffold, on every side, he prayed the company 
to pray to God to assist him and strengthen him. 

Being asked which way he would lay himself, on which side the block, as 
he stretched himself along, and laid his head on the block, he said, " So the 
heart be right, it is no matter which way the head lieth." And then praying, 
after he had forgiven the headsman, having given him a sign when he should 
do his office, at two blows he lost both head and life, his body never shrink- 
ing nor moving. His head was showed on each side of the scaffold, and then 
put into a red leather bag, and his wrought velvet gown thrown over it, which 
was afterwards conveyed away in his lady's mourning-coach. 

The large effusion of blood which proceeded from his veins amazed the 
spectators, who conjectured he would have survived many years, though now 
near fourscore years old. 

He behaved himself at his death with so high and so religious a resolution, 
as if a Christian had acted a Roman, or rather a Roman a Christian : and by 
the magnanimity which was then conspicuous in him, he abundantly baffled 
the calumnies of those who had accused him of atheism. 

Thus died that knight, who was Spain's scourge and terror, and Gonda- 
mor's triumph ; whom the whole nation pitied, and several princes interceded 
for; Queen P]lizabeth's favourite, and her successor's sacrifice; a person of 
so much worth, and such great interest, that king James would not execute 
him without an apology. One of such incomparable policy, that he was too 
hard for Essex, was the envy of Leicester, and Cecil's rival ; who grew jea- 
lous of his excellent parts, and was afraid of his being supplanted by him. 

His head was wished on the secretary's shoulders, and his life valued by 
some at a higher rate than the infanta of Spain, though a lady incomparably 
excellent both in mind and body. 

Authors are perplexed under what topic to place him, whether of statesimanj 
seaman, soldier, chemist, or chronologer ; for in all these he excelled. He 
could make every thing he read or heard his oAvn, and his own he could easily 
improve to the greatest advantage. He seemed to be born to that only which 
he attempted, so dexterous was he in all his undertakings. 



The indictment was read by Mr. Knapp, who afterwards stated the charges 
it contained in a summary manner. He said there were three distinct spe- 
cies of treason charged in the indictment, and seven overt acts. The first 
charge was, compassing and imagining the death of the king; the second, 
adhering to his enemies ; the third, compassing and imagining, inventing, 
devising, and intending to move and stir certain foreigners, and strangers, 
that is to say, the persons exercising the powers of government in France, to 
invade this kingdom. The first overt act was, conspiring to levy war at 


Margate, in the county fo Kent ; the second overt act, sending intelligence to 
the enemy ; the other overt acts w^ere attempts to hire vessels, and to leave 
the kingdom. 

Mr. Abbott opened the case on the part of the crown, and the attorney-gene- 
ral detailed the whole of the circumstances, stating the tenor of the paper, pur- 
porting to be an address to the directory of France, together with several letters 
of a treasonable tendenc)\ He entered into a minute history of the conduct 
of the prisoners, from February 27 till the time of their apprehension, in 
order to show their design was to get to France. 

On the next day, the court being met, Mr. Plomer, as leading counsel for 
Messrs, O'Connor and O'Coigley, opened the defence in an able speech, 
which occupied four hours and a half in delivery. O'Coigley, in his defence, 
addressed the jury as follows : — 

" It is impossible for me to prove a negative ; but it is a duty I owe to you, 
and to myself, solemnly to declare, that I never was the bearer of any mes- 
sage or paper of this kind to France in the course of my life. That paper is 
not mine ; it never belonged to me. It states, that it was to be carried by 
the bearer of the last ; this is something which might have been proved, but 
it is impossible for me to prove the negative. There is also in this paper an 
allusion to secret committees and political societies. I declare that I never 
attended any political Society whatever. With these considerations, I con- 
sign my life to your justice; not doubting but that you will conduct your- 
selves as English jurymen ever do, and that your verdict will be such as 
shall receive the approbation of your own conscience, your country, and your 

The jury, after about half an hour's consideration, found O'Coigley Guilty, 
but acquitted the rest. 

Mr. Justice Buller, in an address to O'Coigley, which he read from a writ- 
ten paper, previous to his passing the sentence, observed, that he had been 
clearly convicted of the most atrocious crime which could be committed in 
any country ; and then, in a solemn manner, passed the following sentence : 
— That the prisoner be taken from the bar to the prison, and from thence to 
the place of execution ; there to be hanged, but not until he be dead ; to be 
cut down while yet alive, and then have his heart and bowels taken out and 
burnt before his face ; his head to be severed from his body, and his body to 
be divided into four quarters. 

On O'Coigley's being tied up to the gallows, on the 7th of June, he made 
the following speech : 

" I shall only here solemnly declare that I am innocent of the charge for 
which I suffer. I never was in my life the bearer of any letter, or other paper or 
message, printed, written, or verbal, to the directory of France, nor to any per- 
son on their behalf; neither was I ever a member of the London Correspond-' 
ing Society, or of any other political society in Great Britain ; nor did I ever 
attend any of their meetings, public or private — so help me God ! I know not 
whether I shall be believed here in what I say, but I am sure I shall be be- 
lieved in the world to come. It can scarcely be supposed that one like me, 
in this situation, going to eternity, before the most awful tribunal, would die 
with a falsehood in his mouth ; and I do declare, by the hopes I confidently 
feel of salvation and happiness in a future state, that my life is falsely and 
maliciously taken away by corrupt and base perjury, and subornation of per- 
jury, in some cases proceeding from mistake, no doubt, but in others from 
design. Almighty God forgive all my enemies ! I beg of you to pray that 
God will grant me grace — for I have many sins to answer for ; but they are 
the sins of my private life, and not the charge for which I now die. (Rais- 
ing his voice). Lord have mercy on me, and receive my soul." 

The board was then let down, and he remained suspended for twelve 
or thirteen minutes ; he was then taken down, decapitated by a surgeon, 
and the executioner held up his head to the populace, saying, " This is the 


head of a traitor." Both head and body were then put into a shell, and bu- 
ried at the foot of the g-allows. 

The chief evidence against O'Coigley was a police officer, who swore that 
he found in his great-coat pocket an address from the society of United Irish- 
men to the Executive Directory of France, inviting its co-operation against 
the British government in Ireland. The great-coat, said to contain this im- 
portant treasonable document, was found hanging in the open passage of the 
inn, at Margate, at which O'Coigley, O'Connor, Binns, and another were 
residing. It was found that the great-coat belonged to O'Coigley ; but 
it was strongly doubted, before and after his execution, whether it was 
probable that such a paper would have been left in such a situation. A 
Mr. Fenwick, after his death, published a long and able pamphlet, in 
which he contended that the evidence was incomplete, improbable, and 
unsatisfactory; and it was otherwise contended, that no such address 
was either moved in the society, or in any way necessary or useful to be pre- 

After the verdict had been pronounced, the sympathy which was excited 
among the numerous political friends of Mr. O'Connor led them, under an 
apprehension that he might be detained, to endeavour to facilitate his depar- 
ture. A rush of these persons, therefore, took place towards the bail dock, 
and a scuffle ensued between the police officers, who had a warrant to retail! 
O'Conu.^r and these parties. It was alleged, that the earl of Thanet, Den- 
nis O'Bryen, T. Thompson, and T. G. Brown, esqrs. and Mr. Fergusson, the 
barrister, were conspicuous in this affray, and in consequence they were pro- 
secuted for a riot in the court, to facilitate the escape of Mr. O'Connor; and 
Mr.Fergusson and lord Thanet being found guilty, his lordship was sentenced 
to be imprisoned in the Tower for one year, to pay a fine of £1000, and give 
security for his good behaviour for seven years in £20,000 ; and IMr. Fergus- 
son was sentenced to the same term of imprisonment in the King's Bench 
to pay a fine of £100, and to give security for seven years for £1000. 



Miss Ann Broadric, was a young lady of considerable abilities, a fine 
figure, and much admired for her accomplishments and personal attractions. 
Three or four years after Mr. E.'s divorce from his former wife for her adul- 
tery, he addressed Miss Broadric, and lived with her nearly three years, with 
every appearance of comfort. Mr. E. however, saw another beautiful object, 
possessed of a large fortune, to whom he transferred his affections, and after 
a little time, gave herhishand. On his luarriage he settled what he deemed 
a suitable provision on Miss Broadric; stated to her explicitly the variation 
of his sentiments, and added that he could never see her more. 

After the first agonies of her grief. Miss Broadric sent the following re- 
monstrance. The desired interview was refused ; but she still persised by 
letters, to move him to grant her this last request ; but finding him inexorable, 
she wrote to him, "That if nothing could induce him to do her this act of 
common justice, he must prepare himself for the fatal alternative, as she was 
determined that he should not long survive his injidelity /" 

'' September 11, 1794. 
Dear E. — That you have betrayed and abandoned the most tender and 
affectionate heart that ever warmed a human bosom, cannot be denied by any 


person who is in the least acquainted with me. Wretched and miserable as 
I have been since you left me, there is still a method remaining that would 
suspend, for a time, the melancholy suffering and distress which I labour 
under at this moment; and still, inhuman as thou art, I am half persuaded, 
when I tell you the power is in your hands, that you will not withhold it from 
me. What I allude to is, the permission of seeing you once more, and per- 
haps for the last time. If you consider that the request comes from a woman 
you once flattered into a belief of her being the sole possessor of j^our love, 
you may not, perhaps, think it unreasonable. Recollect, however, E., ere 
you send a refusal, that the roaring of the tempest, and the lightnings from 
Heaven are not more terrible than the rage and vengeance of a disappointed 
woman. Hitherto you can only answer for the weakness and frailty of my 
nature. There is a further knowledge of my disposition you must have if 
you do not grant me the favour demanded. I wish it to come voluntarily from 
yourself, or else I will force it from you. Believe me in that case I would 
seek you in the farthest corner of the globe, rush into your presence, and 
with the same rapture that nerved the arm of Charlotte Cordet, when she 
assassinated the monster Maratt, would 1 put an end to the existence of a 
man, who is the author of all the agonies and care that at present oppress the 
heart of " Ann Broadric." 

After a lapse of a month, receiving no answer whatever, she dressed her- 
self elegantly, early on the Friday morning, ]May 15th, went to the Three 
Nuns inn, in Whitechapel, and took a place in the Southend coach, which 
passed very near Mr. E.'s house at Grays. She got out at the avenue gate, 
and in her way was recognised by Mr. E., who told his wife, that that tor- 
menting woman, Broadric, was coming; but that he should soon get rid of 
her, if she, Mrs., E. would retire a few minutes. Mrs. E. however, did not 
consent to this, but prevailed upon her husband to go up-stairs into the draw- 
ing-room, and leave the interview to her management. Miss B. being shown 
into the house, asked for Mr. E. ; but was told by Mrs. E. that he was not 
at home. " I am not to be so satisfied, madam," replied Miss B. " I know 
the ways of this house unfortunately too well, and therefore, with your leave, 
I'll search for him !" On this, she rushed into the drawing-room, and find- 
ing him there, she drew a pistol, with a new bagged flint, from her pocket, 
and presenting it at his left side, directed to his heart, exclaimed, " I am 
come, Errington, to perform my dreadful promise !" and instantly pulled the 
trigger. Surprised at his not falling, she said, "Good God! I fear I have 
not despatched you! but come deliver me into the hands of justice !" 

Mrs. E. burst into the room, and seeing her husband bleeding, fainted 
away. Mr. E. now remonstrated with her, and asked her if he had ever de- 
served this at her hands, after the care he had taken to settle her so comfort- 
ably in the world ] She gave no other answer than a melancholy shake of 
the head. 

Mr. Miller, a neighbouring surgeon, being called in, found that the ball 
had penetrated at the lowest rib, cut three ribs asunder, and then passed round 
the back, and lodged under the shoulder bone, from whence every effort was 
made to extract it, but in vain, 

Mr. Button, a magistrate, came, who took the examination of Mr. E. after 
his wound was dressed. He asked Miss Broadric what could induce her to 
commit such an act of extreme violence? Her answer was, that she was de- 
termined that neither Mr. E. nor herself should long outlive her lost peace 
of mind. 

Mr. E. entreated of the magistrate not to detain her in custody, but to let 
her depart, as he was sure he should do well ; but this request Miss B. re- 
fused to accept, or the magistrate to grant. Her commitment being made 
out, she was conveyed that evening to Chelmsford jail, where she remained 
composed till she heard of Mr. E .'s death, when she burst into a flood of tears, 


and lamented bitterly that she had been oblio^ed to be the cause of his death. 
The coroner's inquest sat on the body on Tuesday, the 19th of May, and 
brought in their verdict, JVilful murder by the hund.'i of Ann Broadric, 

On Friday, July 17th, Ann Broadric was conveyed to the shire-hall ; she 
was conducted into the bail dock in the criminal court, attended by three 
ladies and her apothecary. She was dressed in mourning, without powder ; 
and after the first perturbations were over, occasioned by the concourse of 
surrounding spectators, she sat down on a chair prepared for her, and was 
tolerably composed, except at intervals, when she evinced violent agitation. 
When the indictment was reading, she paid marked attention to it; and on 
the words, "that on the right breast of the said G. Errington, she did wil- 
fully and feloniously inflict one mortal wound," &c. she exclaimed, " Oh, 
my great God !" and burst into a torrent of tears. 

The prosecution for the crown was opened by Mr. Garrow, who demon- 
strated the painful execution of his office by the humane and affecting exor- 
dium with which he addressed the jury preparatory to the statement of the 
evidence he was instructed to adduce. 

George Bailey, sworn. — Said he was servant to the deceased Mr. Erring- 
ton ; saw Miss Broadric come into the kitchen on the 13th of May last; did 
not know her; she asked whether Mr. E. was at home? he answered, yes; 
and desired the gardener to show the lady into the parlour, while he put on 
his shoes, and went up to inform his master, then in the drawing-room; that 
he saw Mrs. E. and the lady meet at the parlour door [here Aliss Broadric 
shook her head and groaned deeply]. He perceived that the ladies were 
strangers to each other. Miss B. asked Mrs. E. if Mr. E. was to be spoken 
with ? She answered, " Yes, ma'am ; pray walk up-stairs." His mistress 
went up first ; he returned to the kitchen ; and in the space of a minute he 
heard the report of a pistol, tlie shrieks of his mistress, and also his master 
cry out and groan ! He ran up-stairs, and passing some workmen, desired 
them to go up with him, as something dreadful had happened. On entering the 
drawing-room, he beheld his master all over blood, and leaning, with his 
left hand on his right breast, who exclaimed, " Oh, God! 1 am shot! I am 
murdered !" Mrs. E. instantly ordered him to take that woman into custody, 
for she had murdered her husband. On this Miss B. threw a pistol out of 
her left hand on the carpet, and laughing, cried out, " Here, take me, hang 
me, and do what you will with me ; 1 don't care now !" He told the work- 
men to take care of the prisoner till he came back : he then ran to the stable, 
took a horse, and rode for Mr. Childers, the surgeon, about a mile off; 
desired him to mount the horse, and make haste to his master, who was shot; 
he followed soon after with two constables, when he found the doctor and 
Mrs. E. with his master. Miss B. he saw afterwards in the parlour below; 
that on seeing her right hand in her pocket, he told the constable he thought 
she had another pistol in her pocket; that the constable went behind her, 
and took hold of both her arms, when she said, " What are you going to 
do V He replied, " Not to hurt you in the least, ma'am, but it is our duty 
to put these handcuffs upon you :" which they did. She rejoined, " Let me 
put my hand in my pocket first 1" The constable answered, " No !" She 
said, " I want to give you something." — " Some other time," replied the 
other. The witness then asked her whether she had not another pistol. 
She answered, "I have !" and iu a lower tone of voice, said to him, "This 
I intended for myself!" He then sent for a woman servant, and desired her 
to search her ; which she did, and immediately drew another pistol from her 

John Eves lived at the Bull Inn, Whitechapel. Miss B. came to him 
about the 11th of May, and gave him a letter to carry to Mr. E. which he 
delivered to him on the 13th, at Gray's, who asked him whether it did not come 
from Miss B. 1 He replied, it did. INIr. E. then bade him take it back, as he 


should see her at the fair ; he took the letter to her again unopened the next 
day. This letter was as follows : — 

" Dear Sir, — As 1 intend going to Southend on Wednesday, I wish to speak 
a few words to you on money affairs,, as I have received no answer to the 
letter from Mr. — (Mr. E.'s solicitor). I fear you are deceived in the person 
you intrust. I wish you would meet me at the Dog and Partridge, at Stifford, 
as I have not had the money you promised me I should receive." 

Here the evidence for the crown was closed, and several persons were 
called in, who proved the prisoner's insanity. 

The lord chief-baron, before he summed up the evidence, called the attention 
of the jury to the particular plea of insanity, on which the defence of the prisoner 
had been rested, as no denial had been set up against the perpetration of the 
deed,of which, indeed, there had been given the fullest and clearest evidence. 
The law certainly required that the will should accompany the act, to con- 
stitute a felonious murder. The defence in the present case was, that the 
prisoner was incapable of lending her will to the perpetration of the crime 
with which she stood charged. On the whole, if the jury thought the latent 
seeds of derangement, after a convulsive struggle of six months, had been 
called forth on this horrible occasion, so as to overwhelm the senses of 
the unhappy prisoner, they were bound in conscience to acquit her. If, on 
the other hand, they believed that it was the preparatory pangs of a mind 
intent on gratifying its revenge by the death of its object, they must find her 
guilty ; but they scarcely need be told, that, should a doubt remain on their 
minds, common charity required that the balance should turn in the prisoner's 

The jury consulted about two minutes, and then gave their verdict — Not 

The judge? directed that Miss B. should be examined before two magis- 
trates, that she might be safely removed, under their order, to the place of 
her settlement, with a particular recommendation annexed thereto, that she 
might be treated with all possible care. 



The indictment charged William Corder with having, on the 18th of May, 
1827, murdered Maria Marten, by feloniously and wilfully shooting her with 
a pistol through the body, and likewise stabbing her with a dagger. The 
indictment consisted of ten counts. 

The first witness called was Ann Marten, the wife of Thomas Marten, who 
deposed, that she lived at Polstead, and her husband's daughter was Maria 
Marten. The prisoner was acquainted with Maria intimately. Maria became 
pregnant in the course of that intercourse ; and, about seven weeks before 
May, 1827, she returned to her father's house accompanied by an infant child, 
who died about a fortnight afterwards. Corder still continued to come to the 
house, and admitted he was the father of this infant. He used to converse 
often with Maria; and, when the child was buried, he said he had carried it 
to Sudbury for that purpose. She remembered his more than once talking 
about a £5 note, and Maria used to say, he had taken away her bread and 
her child's. Maria had had a child previously, which was kept by the wit- 


ness. Corder told Maria, that the parish officers were going- to take her up 
for having bastard children. On the Sunday, before Friday the 18th of May, 
he came to the cottage, where he stopped half an hour or three quarters, and 
then went out with Maria ; both saying, they were going to Ipswich early on 
the Monday morning, after sleeping at his mother's house. She returned 
between three and four o'clock in the morning, and Corder came again on 
that day, and said they should go to Ipswich on the Wednesday night. They 
did not, however, go at that time, in consequence of Stoke fair, but fixed 
Thursday night for the journey, when again there was a disappointment, as 
he said his brother James was hourly expected to die. On the Friday (the 
day laid in the indictment), about eleven or twelve o'clock, Corder came, and 
went up-stairs to witness and Maria, To the latter he said, " I am come, 
Maria — make haste — I am going." She replied, " How can I go at this 
time of the day, without anybody seeing me ■?" He said, " Never mind, 
we have been disappointed a good many times, and we will be disappointed 
no more." After they had this conversation, she asked him, " How am I to 
go?" He replied, " You can go to the Red Barn, and wait till I go to you 
there in the course of the evening." Maria said, " How am I to order my 
things ]" He replied he would take the things, carry them up to the barn, 
and come back to walk with her; adding, that none of his workmen were in 
the fields, or at the barn, and he was sure the course was quite clear. Ma- 
ria's things, consisting of a reticule, wicker basket, a velvet one, two pair 
of black silk stockings, a silk gown of the same colour, a cambric skirt, and 
other articles of dress, were put into a brown holland bag, which Corder 
carried away in his hand. She (Maria) then dressed herself in a brown coat, 
striped waistcoat, and blue trowsers, wearing underneath her under female 
petticoat, white stays, green and red handkerchief, a silk one, and an Irish 
linen chemise, which the deceased had herself made. Witness had laced 
on the stays for Maria on that morning, and knew the marks upon them 
(which she described), as well as those on the shoes which she wore. He 
assigned as the reason for going on that day to Ipswich, that John Balam, 
the constable, came to him on that morning to the stable, saying he had got 
a letter from Mr. Whitmore of London, which enclosed a warrant to take 
Maria, and prosecute her for her bastard children. Witness said " Oh, Wil- 
liam, if you had but married Maria before this child was born, as I wished, 
all this would have been settled !" — " Well," said he, " I am going to Ips- 
wich to marry her to-morrow morning." Witness said, " William, what 
will you do, if that can't be done 1" He replied, " Don't make yourself un- 
easy ; she shall be my lawful wife before I return, or I will get her a place 
till she can." Maria then went away about half-past twelve o'clock, Corder 
first desiring witness to look out to the garden, lest somebody should see 
them going off. They departed by different doors, Maria in man's dress, and 
with a hat of the prisoner's. She wore a large comb in her hair, and a 
smaller one, having also ear-rings. They proceeded together in the direction 
of the Red Barn, and she saw neither of them again on that day, nor indeed 
ever saw Maria since. William Corder, when he went away with her, car- 
ried a gun in his hand, which he said was charged. Maria had besides a 
green cotton umbrella, with a bone crook handle, and a button. On the fol- 
lowing Sunday morning at nine o'clock, witness next spoke to the prisoner 
at her own house. She said "William, what have you done with Maria?" 
He answered, " I have left her at Ipswich, where I have gotten her a comfort- 
able place, to go down with Miss Roland to the waterside." On asking him 
how she was to do for clothes, he said Miss Roland had plenty for her, and 
would not let him provide any for Maria. He also said, he had gotten a 
license, but it must be sent to London to be signed, and he could not be mar- 
ried under a month or six weeks. He further mentioned that he had changed 
a check for £20, and given her the money. On asking him where she dress- 
ed, he said she had put her things on in the barn, and that he afterwards put^ 


the male attire into the seat of the coach in which they travelled. Witness 
had a son named George, and she told Corder, that George had mentioned 
that he (prisoner) had not left the barn so soon as he promised. This he 
denied, saying he had left it within three-quarters of an hour after he parted 
from the house. "No," said witness, "you did not, for George saw you 
later going down the adjoining field with a pick-axe." — " No, no," replied 
he, "that was not me, but Tom Acres, who had been planting trees on the 
hill." She was in the habit of seeing Corder repeatedly up to the month of 
September, — sometimes two or three times in the day, and he invariably said 
Maria was well, and living comfortably at Yarmouth with Miss Roland. He 
used to leave Polstead some times for a day or two, when he was in the 
habit of saying he had been with Maria, who continued very well, and that, 
at Michaelmas, he meant to take her home to his mother's farm. No letter 
had ever come from Maria, and when she often spoke to Corder about her not 
writing, he replied, she could not, because she had got a bad hand. When 
he left Polstead, he came to take leave, saying he was going to the water- 
side for his health, and would call at Yarmouth to take Maria with him, and 
be married immediately. She never saw him after, till his arrest, nor had 
she seen the dead body ; but all the articles of dress were shown to her 
(which the witness subsequently identified as being those worn by the de- 
ceased on the day she had last seen her). Maria had always a cough ; had 
a wen on her neck, and had lost a tooth from the upper as well as from the 
lower jaw. Witness attended Corder's brother's funeral soon after the 18th 
of May, where she saw the prisoner with Maria's umbrella. After the fune- 
ral, she talked to him about the um.brella, which he said was not hers, 
though it was like it, but Deborah Franks's, and he was going to send it 
back to her at Ipswich, where she had come over with Miss Roland. He 
had shown the witness a gold ring, which was, he said, to be for Maria's 
wedding, and also a brace of pistols which he once brought to the house. 

Cross-examined by M)\ Broderich. — Witness was the mother of three chil- 
dren. Maria was her step-daughter, and had an own brother and sister, 
She was anxious for Maria's marriage to Corder, although Maria said nothino- 
about it. She was gone two months at her last lying-in, and then returned 
in Corder's gig with the prisoner. The infant died in her arms, and Corder 
and Maria took it away to be buried : where she did not know, but was told 
at Sudbury. Maria used to dress a little fine, and her sister, as well as wit- 
ness and her father, often quarrelled with her about it, which made her mostly 
very dull. There was no secret about their going to the barn. Corder used 
openly to snap the pistol close to the fire. She saw him bring ham for Maria. 
He used to give her money as the weekly allowance for the child ; and Maria 
had a quarterly stipend of s65 from Mr. Matthews, by whom she had a child, 
and another by a third party. She had never heard from anybody but wit- 
ness, that Maria M'as exposed to danger by the constables, for having had 
these children ; and this fear kept her within doors. When she went away 
on the 18th, she was crying, and low-spirited. Corder often came to the 
house with a gun. She had been examined before the coroner. Prisoner 
called repeatedly to see Maria, and said, that as long as he had a shiilino-, 
she should have it. They seemed always to be very fond of each other. 
She repeated her account of the manner in which Corder and Maria left the 
house together for the last time, as it has been already given in her exami- 
nation in chief. 

[During the examination of this witness, the prisoner put on his specta- 
cles, took out a red morocco pocket-book, in which he commenced writing, 
and looked steadfastly at her. She appeared a decent-dressed country wo- 
man ; but never returned the prisoner's glance, or took her eyes from the 
counsel who examined her. About two o'clock he ate and drank with much 
seeming appetite.] 

^Thomas Marten, the father of the deceased, corroborated the evidence of 
T 28 



the preceding witness, and stated, that he had received two letters, which 
he gave to a orentleman who had examined him, and he had since searched 
the Red Barn at Polstead, on the I9th of last April. On lifting np the straw 
from the barn floor, he saw some great stones lying in the middle of the bay, 
and an appearance of the earth having been disturbed. On that spot, he 
poked down the handle of a rake, and turned something up which was black. 
On getting further assistance, they discovered, a little under the ground, a 
small round sharp iron, about a foot long, like a hay-spike, and then they 
came to the body, and near the head found the handkerchief tied round her 
neck apparently very tight. The body was lying down, though not stretched 
out. The legs were drawn np, and the head bent down into the earth. He 
quitted the barn for half an hour, and returned with another person to make 
a further examination. They let the body alone, until the coroner and the 
surgeon came, when they cleared the earth entirely from the body, and raised 
it up from the floor. On examining it in the light, the mouth looked like 
Maria's, who had a wen on her neck, and had been ailing for a 3'ear or two 
with a cough. Underneath the body was found a shawl : there were also 
ear-rings, parts of a stays, of a chemise, and two combs in the hair. 

Ann Marten, sister of the deceased, deposed, that she was at home on the 
ISth of May, when Maria went away with William Corder, and described 
what then occurred, in nearly the same words as her mother, particularizing 
each article of her dress. Witness had seen the dead body, when the coro- 
ner and jury were present, and was positive it was her sister Maria's. She 
knew it by the things which were on it, also by her teeth, her mouth, and her 
features generally. The witness particularly identified the clothes as belong- 
ing to her deceased sister, as well as the ear-rings, the combs, &c. 

Cross-examined. — Her sister left home on the 18th of ^lay, in very low 
spirits ; but she never heard her say, she was anxious to be married to Wil- 
liam Corder. Witness and IMaria sometimes quarrelled, and there used to 
be words between her and her step-mother. 

George ^Marten (brother of the preceding witness), a boy about eleven or 
twelve years of age, deposed, that he saw his sister on the day she last left the 
house with Corder, who carried a gun in his hand, which he said was loaded, 
and therefore cautioned witness not to meddle with it. He saw Corder on 
the same day, between three and four o'clock, come from the barn alone with 
a pick-axe, and proceed hotnewards through the fields. 

Phoebe Stow lived at Polstead, about thirty rods from the Red Barn. She 
remembered Corder calling about one o'clock one day in May last year, when 
he said, " Mrs. Stow, has not your husband got an old spade to lend me?" 
She lent him one, and he only said a few" words, saying he was in such a 
hurry, he could not then stop and talk to her. The spade was afterwards 
returned; but she could not say by whom. On a subsequent occasion, Cor- 
der again called, when she asked him where was Maria Marten's child. He 
said it was dead and buried. He also said she would have no more children. 
Witness said, why not; she is a young woman yeXl He replied, "Never 
mind, Maria Marten will never have more children." — " What do you go 
by ]" added witness. " Oh," said he, " she has had several, but I'll be 
d — d, if she shall have any more." Witness continued, " If you are mar- 
ried, why don't you live with her]" — " Oh, no," was his reply, "for I can 
go to her any day in the year, just when I like." — " Perhaps you are rather 
jealous," said I, "and when you are not with her, you think somebody else 
is." — "Oh, no," said he; "when I am not with her, I am sure nobody 
else is." 

William Pyrke deposed, that he drove the prisoner on the Sth of Septem- 
ber to Colchester, and talked with him about the business of the farm. Maria 
Marten's name was mentioned ; and he said he had not seen her since May, 
but spoke very highly of her. 


The two following letters, after being identified by Marten as being in 
Corder's handwriting, and as those which he received, were then read. 

" London, Bull Inn, Leadenhall-street, Thursday, October 18. 
" Thomas Marten, — I am just arrived at London upon business respecting 
our family affairs, and am writing to you before I take the least refreshment, 
because 1 shall be in time for this night's post, as my stay in town will be 
very short ; anxious to return again to her who is now my wife, and with 
whom I shall be one of the happiest of men. I should have had her with 
me, but it was her wish to stay at our lodgings at Newport, in the Isle of 
Wight, which she described to you in her letter ; and we feel astonished that 
you have not yet answered it, thinking illness must have been the cause. In 
that she gave you a full description of our marriage, and that Mr. Roland 
was Daddy, and Miss, bride's-maid. Likewise told you they came with us 
as far as London, where we continued together very comfortable for three 
days, when we parted with the greatest regret. Maria and myself went on 
to the Isle of Wight, and they both returned home. I told Maria I should 
write to you directly I reached London, who is very anxious to hear from 
you, fearing some strange reason is the cause of your not writing. She re- 
quested that you would enclose Mr. Peter's letters in one of your own, should 
he write to you, that we may know better how to act. She is now mine, 
and I should wish to study her comfort as well as my own. Let us know all 
respecting Mr. Peter, and if you can possibly write by return of post, and 
direct for W. ]\I. C. at the above inn. Maria wished me to give to Nancy 
a kiss for her little boy, hoping every possible care is taken of him ; and tell 
your wife to let Nancy have any of Maria's clothes she thinks proper, for 
she says she have got so many, they will only spoil, and make use of any 
she like herself. In her letter, she said a great deal respecting little Henry, 
who she feel anxious to hear about, and will take him to herself as soon as 
we can get a farm whereby we can gain a livelihood, which I shall do the 
first I can meet with worth notice ; for living without some business is very 
expensive. Still provisions are very reasonable on the Isle of Wight ; I 
think, cheaper than any part of England. Thank God I we are both well, 
hoping this will find all you the same. We have both been a great deal on 
the water, and have had some good sea-sicknesses, which I consider have 
been very useful to us both. My cough I have lost entirely, which is a great 
consolation. In real truth, I feel better than I ever did before in my life, only 
in this short time. Maria told you in her letter, how ill I was for two days 
at Portsmouth, which is seven miles over the water to the Isle of Wight, 
making altogether one hundred and thirty-nine miles from Polstead. I would 
say more, but time will not permit. Therefore, Maria unites with me for 
your welfare ; and may every blessing attend you. Mind you direct for W'. 
M. C. at the Bull Inn, Leadenhall-street, London. W^rite to-morrow, if you 
can ; if not, write soon enough for Saturday's ])ost, that I may get it on Sun- 
day morning, when I shall return to Maria directly I receive it. Enclose 
Mr. Peter's letters, and let us know whether he has acknowledged little 
Henry. You must try and read my scribble, but I fear you will never make 
it out. 

" I remain your well-wisher, W. C." 

" I think you had better burn all letters, after taking all directions, that 
nobody may form the least idea of our residence. Adieu. 
••• For Thomas Marten, Polstead, near Stoke by Nayland, Suffolk, - 

"With speed." 

" London, Monday 23d, 1827. 
" Thomas Marten, — I received your letter this morning, which reached 
London yesterday, but letters are not delivered out here on a Sunday ; that 1 
discovered on making inquiry yesterday. However, I could not get through 


my business before this afternoon, and I am going to Portsmouth by this 
night's coach. I have this day been to the General Post-office, making in- 
quiry about the letter Maria wrote you on the 30th of September, which you 
say never came to your hands. The clerk of the office traced the books back 
to the day it was wrote, and he said, a letter directed as I told him to you, 
never came through their office, which I think is very strange. However, 
I am determined to find out how it was lost, if ]iossible ; but I must think 
coming over the water to Portsmouth, which I will inquire about to-morrow, 
when 1 hope to find out the mystery. It is, I think, very odd, that letters 
should be lost in this strange way. Was it not for the discovery of our resi- 
dence, I would certainly indict the post-office, but I cannot do that without 
making our appearance at a court-martial, which would be very unpleasant 
to us both. You wish for us to come to Polstead, which we should be very 
happy to do, but you are not aware of the danger. You may depend, if ever 
we fall into Mr. P 's hands, the consequence would prove fatal; there- 
fore, should he write to you, or should he come to Polstead, you must tell 
him you have not the least knowledge of us, but you think we are gone into 
some foreign part. I think, if you don't hear from him before long, you had 
better write and tell him you cannot support the child without some assist- 
ance, for we are gone you know not where. If you tell him you hear from 
us, he will force you to say where we was ; therefore, I think it will be best 
not to acknowledge any thing at all. I enclose £l, and you shall hear from 
us again in a short time. This will not reach you before Wednesday morn- 
ing, as I am too late for this night's post. You said your wife did not like 
to take any of Maria's clothes; she said in her last letter, that her old clothes 
was at their service — I mean your wite and Nancy ; but she shall write again 
as soon as possible. I must now bid you adieu. The coach will start in 
about ten minutes. I have been so much employed all this day, that I could 
not write before. Believe me to be your well-wisher for your future welfare. 

" W. M. C. 
" For Thomas 3Iarten, Polstead, near Colchester. (Post paid.)" 

Peter Matthews, Esq. — ^I generally reside in London. I had known Maria 
for some length of time before last year; and I had last seen her, I believe, 
on the 31st of August, 1826. In July last year, I was at Polstead, where I 
saw C order, and had a conversation with him respecting a £b Bank of Eng- 
land note, which I had lost. He said he knew nothing of it. I received 
this letter from the prisoner : 

" Sunday afternoon, August 26th, 1827. 

" Sir, — In reply to your generous letter which reached me yesterday, I beg 
to inform you, that I was indeed innocent of Maria Marten's residence at the 
time you requested me to forward the letter I took from Bramford, and will 
candidly confess, that Maria has been with a distant female relation of mine, 
since the month of May. About five weeks ago they both went into Norfolk 
to visit some of my friends. On Friday week, I received a letter from my 
kindred, who informed that Maria was somewhat indisposed, and that they 
were then in a village called Herlingby, near Yarmouth. I received an an- 
swer by the next post, and enclosed your letter for Maria, which I found 
reached her perfectly safe, as I took the Yarmouth coach last Wednesday 
from Ipswich Lamb-fair, and went to Herlingby, when I was sorry to hear 
that Maria's indisposition was occasioned by a sore gathering on the back 
of her hand, which caused her great pain, and which prevented her from 
writing to you, as her fingers are at present immovable. Knowing you 
would be anxious to hear from her, I particularly wished her to write the 
first moment she found herself able, which she promised very faithfully to 
do. I gave her a particular account of our dialogue at Polstead-hall, not for- 
getting the remarkable kindness I experienced from you, which I shall ever 
most gratefully acknowledge ; and likewise return you my most grateful 


thanks for your kindness in respect to your enterprise on my account, when 
in London. 

" I remain, sir, your most obedient, and very humble servant, 


" P. S. — I have already enclosed your letter for Maria, in one of my own, 
which I shall post with this immediately, and beg permission to add, that 1 
am fully determined to make Maria my bride, directly I can settle our family 
affairs, which will be in about a month or six weeks time. Till that time, 
Maria wish to continue with my kindred. In concluding-, if I can at any 
time render you any service whatsoever, I shall be most happy to oblige, as 
I am truly sensible of your generosity. 
" For Peter Matthews, Binfield, near TVorkingham, Berkshire.'''' 

Mr. Matthew''s examination continued. — I left Polstead on the 9th of August 
last ; Corder on that morning told me he did not know exactly where Maria 
Marten was ; but he believed she was in the neighbourhood of Yarmouth. 
On the 19th of November following, I met him accidentally near Somerset- 
house. I asked, if he had forwarded a letter of mine written to Maria Mar- 
ten, and forwarded to him in one on the 2d of September, He said he had. 
I told him I was surprised at not receiving any letter or any answer at all 
from the young woman. I asked him where she then was ] He said he 
had left her in the Isle of Wight. I told him, that her father had written to 
me once or twice respecting her, and that he was uneasy, not knowing where 
she was. I inquired of him if he was married to her ! He said, " No ;" 
he had not yet settled his family affairs. 

James Lea. — I am a police-officer of Lambeth-street. On the 22d of last 
April, I went to Grove-house, Ealing, at about ten o'clock in the morning. 
As I entered, Corder came into the hall out of the parlour. I told him I had 
a little business with him. The prisoner said, walk into the drawing-room, 
and we went in. I then told him, I was an officer from London, and was 
come to apprehend him on a very serious charge, and he must consider him- 
self my prisoner. He replied, "Very well." I told him, the charge was 
respecting a young woman of the name of Maria Marten, whom he had for- 
merly kept company with. I said she had been missing for a length of time, 
and strong suspicions were attached to him. I continued, " I believe you 
know such a person ? It was a young woman you kept company with in 
Suffolk." He said no; he did not know such a person. I asked him, "Did 
you never know such a person ]" He said no ; I must have made a mistake ; 
he was not the person I wanted. I said, " No, I have not made a mistake — 
your name is Corder; and I am certain you are the person." 1 told him to 
recollect himself; I had asked him twice if he knew such a person, and I 
would ask him a third time. He still said no, he did not ; he never knew 
such a person. I then proceeded to search his person, and took from his 
pocket a bunch of keys. I took him to the Red Lion, at Brentford. On 
our way thither, I said the body of the young woman had been found in his 
Red Barn. He made no remark then. We proceeded some distance, and he 
asked me, " When was the young woman found V I told him on Saturday 
morning last. He made no further reply. I then left him at the Red Lion, 
and returned to his house. When I entered, Mrs. Corder showed me up- 
stairs into a dressing-room. I found in the house a pair of pistols, which he 
admitted to be his, and likewise a sword. 

Robert OJford. — I am a cutler, residing at Hadleigh, in this county. The 
prisoner called at my house in the latter part of March, or beginning of April, 
1827. He brought a small sword, and said, "Mr. Offord, I have brought a 
small sword, which I wish to have ground as sharp as a carving-knife, for 
the use of a carving-knife." He wished to have it done, and he would call 
for it that night. The witness identified the sword produced by Lea, as the 
one he had sharpened for Corder. 
T 2 




John Balam. — I am the constable of Polstead. I never had told the pri- 
soner that I had a warrant to apprehend Maria Marten, or that I had a letter 
from Mr. Whitmore to apprehend her. 

Thomas .icres. — I recollect Stoke fair, in 1827. I know the Red Barn at 
Polstead, and the thistly lay there. I never went over that field with a pick- 
axe on my shoulder. 

John Laiuton. — I am a surgeon, and was present when the coroners jury 
Vv-ent to view the body found in the Red Barn on the 20th of April. It had 
not been disturbed, except that the earth had been removed from the top of it. 
It lay in the hole in the barn in which it had been buried, in the right-hand 
bay of the barn. It was, in parts, much decomposed. I should have said it 
had been in the ground nine or ten months, or more. There were with it 
stays, dannel petticoat, shift, a handkerchief round the neck, stockings and 
garters, and high shoes, with portions of a leghorn bonnet, trimmed with 
black. (Produced a silk handkerchief.) This was found underneath her 
hips. (The rest of the articles he mentioned were produced and identified; 
they were nearly indistinguishable as to material or form.) There was part 
of the sleeve of a blue coat, and the body was in part of a sack. The right 
hand was on the right breast. It was the body of a full-grown young wo- 
man. There was an appearance of blood about the face, particularly on the 
right side. I found the green striped handkerchief round her neck, tied in 
the usual way, but drawn extremely tight, so as to form a complete groove 
round the neck. It would have produced strangulation. There was in the 
neck an appearance of a perpendicular stab, about an inch and a half in 
length, and extending deep into the neck. There was the appearance of 
injury having l)een done to the right eye, and the right side of the face. It 
seemed as if something had passed in at the left cheek, removing the two 
last grinders, and then out at the right orbit. A ball so passing would not 
of itself cause death ; but the strangulation, and the stab in the neck, would 
have been sufficient, with the ball, to produce death. There was an adhe- 
sion of the lungs to the membrane which lines the ribs on the right side. 
This would, in life, cause inflammation; and the person would have com- 
plained of cough, with pain in the side. The ribs and the heart were brought 
by Mr. Nairn, a surgeon, to my house. I then saw where something had 
penetrated between the fifth and sixth ribs, and there was a stab in the heart 
which corresponded with the opening in the ribs. I found a corresponding 
opening in the shift. The sword, which has been produced, appears to fit 
the wound through the ribs and the opening in the shift. I found one part 
of the wound wide, and the other narrow, so as to correspond with the 

The evidence of two other surgeons was to the same effect. 

The mother and sister of the deceased identified the articles of dress found 
on the body taken from the Red Barn as being Maria's. 

The prisoner, being called on for his defence, advanced to the front of the 
bar, took out some papers, and read with a very tremulous voice an address, 
of which the material passages were the following : 

" It has been well observed that truth is sometimes stranger than fiction. 
Never was this assertion better exemplified than in this hapless instance. In 
a kw short months I have been deprived of all my brothers, and my father 
recently before that period. I have heard the evidence, and am free to say 
that, unexplained, it may cause great suspicion ; but you w'ill allow me to 
explain it. Proceeding, ray lord and gentlemen, to the real facts of this case, 
I admit that there is evidence calculated to excite suspicion, but these facts 
are capable of explanation; and, convinced as I am of my entire innocence, 
I have to entreat you to listen to my true and simple detail of the real facts 
of the death of this unfortunate woman. I was myself so stupefied and over- 
whelmed with the strange and disastrous circumstance, and on that account 


FOR MURDER. '" 223 

so unhappily driven to the necessity of immediate decision, that I acted with 
fear instead of judgment, and I did that which any innocent man might have 
done under such unhappy circumstances. I concealed the appalling occur- 
rence, and was, as is the misfortune of such errors, subsequently driven to 
sustain the first falsehoods by others, and to persevere in a system of delu- 
sion. At first I gave a false account of the death of the unfortunate Maria. 
I am now resolved to disclose the truth, regardless of the consequences. To 
conceal her pregnancy from my mother, 1 took lodgings at Sudbury: she 
was delivered of a male child, which died in a fortnight in the arms of Mrs. 
Marten, although the newspapers have so perverted that fact ; and it was 
agreed between Mrs. Marten, Maria, and me, that the child should be buried 
in the fields. There was a pair of small pistols in the bed-room ; Maria 
knew they were there. I had-often showed them to her. Maria took them 
away from me. I had some reason to suspect she had some correspondence 
with a gentleman, by whom she had a child in London. Though her conduct 
was not free from blemish, I at length yielded to her entreaties and agreed 
to marry her ; and it was arranged we should go to Tpswich and procure a 
license, and marry. Whether I said there was a warrant out against her, 1 
know not. It has been proved that we had many words, and that she was 
crying when she left the house. Gentlemen, this was the origin of the fatal 
occurrence. I gently rebuked her; we reached the barn; while changing 
her dress, she flew into a passion, upbraided me with not having so much 
regard for her as the gentleman before alluded to. Feeling myself in this 
manner so much insulted and irritated, when I was about to perform every 
kindness and reparation, I said, 'Maria, if you go on in this way before mar- 
riage, what have I to expect after] I shall therefore stop when I can ; I will 
return straight home, and you can do what you like, and act just as you think 
proper.' I said 1 would not marry her. In consequence of this, I retired 
from her, when I immediately heard the report of a gun or pistol, and running 
back I found the unhappy girl weltering on the ground. Recovering from my 
stupor, I thought to have left the spot ; but I endeavoured to raise her from 
the ground, but found her entirely lifeless. To my horror I discovered the 
pistol was one of my own she had privately taken from my bed-room. There 
she lay, killed by one of my own pistols, and I the only being by ! My fa- 
culties were suspended. ' 1 knew not what to do. The instant the mischief 
happened, I thought to have made it public; but this would have added to 
the suspicion, and I then resolved to conceal her death. I then buried her in 
the best way I could. I tried to conceal the fact as well as I could, giving 
sometimes one reason for her absence, and sometimes another. It may be 
said, why not prove this by witnesses ] Alas ! how can 1 1 How can I offer 
any direct proof how she possessed herself of my pistols, for I found the 
other in her reticule'? That she obtained them cannot be doubted. All I can 
say as to the stabs is, that I never saw one ; and I believe the only reason for 
the surgeons talking of them is, that a sword was found in my possession. 
I can only account for them by supposing that the spade penetrated her body 
when they searched for the body in the barn. This I know, that neither from 
me, nor from herself, did she get any stab of this description. I always 
treated her with kindness, and had intended to marry her. What motive, 
then, can be suggested for my taking her life ? I could have easily gotten over 
the promise of marriage. Is it possible I could have intended her destruc- 
tion in this manner? We went, in the middle of the day, to a place sur- 
rounded by cottages. Would this have been the case had I intended to have 
murdered her ] Should I have myself furnished the strongest evidence that 
has been additced against me 1 I might, were I a guilty man, have suppress- 
ed the time and place of her death, but my plain and unconcealed actions, be- 
cause they were guiltless, supplied both. Had I intended to perpetrate so 
dreadful a crime, would I have kept about me some of the articles which 


were known to be Maria's] Had I sought her life, could I have acted in 
such a manner 1 Had I, I would have chosen another time and place. Look 
at my conduct since. Did I run away 1 No ! I lived months and months 
with my mother. I left Polstead in consequence of my family afflictions. I 
went to the Isle of Wight. It is said, that the passport was obtained to 
enable me to leave England at any time. No, it was to enable me to visit 
some friends of my wife's in Paris. Should I have kept her property, had 
I any thing to fear from their detection ] In December last, I advertised in 
the Times newspaper the sale of my house, and gave my name and address 
at full length. Did this look like concealment] You will consider any man 
innocent till his guilt is fully proved." 

He was heard with the utmost silence and attention by the court and the 
jury, and he occasionally drew his eyes from the book and fixed them on the 
jury-box, as if to ascertain the impression he had made. Towards the close 
of his address his voice faltered, so as in particular passages to be nearly 
inaudible. His address, which was delivered between eleven and twelve 
o'clock, occupied the court about twenty-five minutes. 

Some witnesses were called for the defence, who merely proved that the 
prisoner treated the deceased with kindness ; that she was generally in very 
bad spirits; and that he was a humane man. 

The lord chief-baron summed up the evidence : at twenty-five minutes to 
two the jury retired ; and at ten minutes past two, they came back into court, 
and returned a verdict of guilty. 

Corder was executed on the 11th of August. On the preceding evening, 
he made the following confession : 

" Bury Jail, August 10, 1828. — Condemned Cell, Sunday evening, half-past eleven. 
" I acknowledge being guilty of the death of poor Maria IMarten, by shoot- 
ing her with a pistol. The particulars are as follows : ^Yhen we left hei 
father's house, we began quarrelling about the burial of the child, she appre- 
hending that the place wherein it was deposited would be found out. The 
quarrelcontinued for about three-quarters of an hour upon this and about 
other subjects. A scufHe ensued, and, during the scuffle, and at the time 1 
think that she had hold of me, I took the pistol from the side-pocket of my 
velveteen jacket and fired. She fell, and died in an instant. I never saw- 
even a struggle. I was overwhelmed with agitation and dismay — the body 
fell near the front doors on the floor of the barn. A vast quantity of blood 
issued from thfi wound, and ran on to the floor and through the crevices. 
Having determined to bury the body in the barn (about two ho-urs after she 
was dead), I went and borrowed the spade of Mrs. Stow; but, before I went 
there, I dragged the body from the barn into the chaff-house, and locked up 
the barn. I returned again to the barn and began to dig the hole ; but the 
spade being a bad one, and the earth firm and hard, I was obliged to go home 
for a pick-axe and a better spade, with which I dug the hole, and then buried 
the body. I think I dragged the body by the handkerchief that was tied 
round her neck — it was dark when I finished covering up the body. I went 
the next day, and washed the blood from off the barn-floor. I declare to 
Almighty God, I had no sharp instrument about me, and that no other wound 
but the one made by the pistol was inflicted by me. 1 have been guilty of 
great idleness, and at times led a dissolute life, but I hope, through the mercy 
of God, to be forgiven \V. CURDER." 

In the interval between the perpetration and the discovery of the murder, 
Corder had advertised for a wife. A woman of respectability, who kept a 
boarding-school near Ealing, answered the advertisement; and they were 
married. He was living with his wite and in her house, at the time when 
he was taken into custody. 


Execution of Carder the Murderer. 
■ This morning, William Corder, who had been convicted of the murder of 
Maria Marten, in circumstances of very peculiar atrocity, vi^as executed at 
Bury. The girl had become the mother of an illegitimate child by him; he 
had appointed her to meet him at a particular place, that they might be mar- 
ried ; when they met he murdered her, and buried the body in a barn. He 
remained unsuspected, and the fate of the young woman unknown, for nearly 
a year, when the mother of the latter dreamed repeatedly that her daughter 
lay buried in the barn in question ; and a search being made, the body was 
found. No other cause was ever assigned for searching that particular spot, 
which led to the discovery. Before his execution, he acknowledged the 



CoDLiN was a native of Scarborough, and allowed to be an excellent sea- 
man in the north coast trade. He was captain of the brig Adventure, nomi- 
nally bound to Gibraltar and Leghorn ; and was indicted for feloniously boring 
three holes in her bottom with a view to defraud the underwriters, on the 8th 
of August, 1802, oft" Brighton. Codlin and Read were charged, as officers of 
the ship, for committing the fact ; and Macfarlane and Easterby, as owners, 
for procuring it to be committed. 

The trial came on at the session-house, at the Old Bailey, Tuesday, Oct. 
26th, 1802, before sir William Scott, lord Ellenborough, and baron Thompson. 
It commenced at nine o'clock in the morning, and did not conclude till twelve 
at night. 

The first witness was T. Cooper, who said he was a seaman on board the 
Adventure, originally before the mast ; was shipped in the river, the vessel 
then lying below Limehouse. Codlin was captain, and Douglas mate ; the 
rest of the crew consisted of two boys, making in all five. Storrow was com- 
ing back and forward. There was a part of the cargo on board, and the vessel 
sailed from Limehouse for Yarmoutli, where she took in twenty-two hogs- 
heads of tobacco, some linen, and fifteen tons of ballast. From thence they 
proceeded to Deal, having taken on board at Yarmouth an additional hand, 
named Walsh, a bricklayer's labourer. At Deal, Douglas, the mate, com- 
plained of the rheumatism, and left them. Storrow went away, and was suc- 
ceeded by Read. They took in anotlier hand named Lacy. 

The captain said, as witness was bringing him oft' shore, that witness should 
take Douglas's birth ; but witness said he was not capable, not knowing navi- 
gation. The captain said, as long as he pleased him, that was plenty ; they 
did not sail from Deal as soon as they might. The captain said at one time, 
he waited for letters ; and at another, he waited for a wind. At length, they 
sailed, five or six days before the vessel went down. The captain gave strict 
orders to keep the boat free ; witness put in four oars, cutting two of them to 
the length ; formerly they threw lumber into the boat ; but the captain order- 
ed that there should be none there, and that there should be plenty of tholes, 
or pins, for the oars. The captain said they should not be in the ship forty- 
eight hours longer : this was Friday. On Saturday, he said that night should 
be the last ; it was impossible she could carry them through the Bay of 
Biscay; he did not think her trust-worthy for his life, and why should wit- 
ness for his ■? The captain then sent witness down to mix grog for himself 
and Read, and some of the crew. Witness was afterwards walking the quar- 
ter-deck ; the captain Avas at the helm, and called witness to relieve him. 



The captain went below ; he came up in a quarter of an hour, and said to the 
witness, " Go down, and you will find an auger on the cabin-deck ; take up 
the scuttle, and bore two or three holes in the run, as close down to the 
bottom as possible." The witness went down, and found the auger ; it was a 
new one bought by the captain at Deal, and put into the handle of another 
auger ; he bored three holes, close down in the run, with two augers and a 
spike gimblet, which he left in the holes. The witness came on deck, and 
told the captain he had bored the holes. The captain asked if the water was 
coming in ] Witness said, not much, for he had left the augers in the holes. 
The captain said they might remain till daylight. On Sunday morning, the 
cabin-boy was prevented I'rom coming down by the captain; before that, he 
always came down, and got breakfast in the cabin. 

At daybreak, witness pulled out the augers, and the water came in ; but 
the captain did not think it came in, in sufficient quantity, and wished for the 
mall to enlarge the holes. The witness said the crow-bar would do. The 
captain ordered him to bring the crow-bar, and make the holes larger ; he did 
so; the captain was present all the time, and assisted to knock down the 
lockers, to make room. The crow-bar went through the bottom, and the wit- 
ness believed, the augers did also. Mr. Read was in bed close by the holds : 
the distance might be about four yards. Mr. Read turned himself round 
several times while the witness was boring the holes ; he never spoke, nor 
did the witness speak to him, but he turned in the bed several times ; the 
auger did not make much noise. When the holes were bored, the witness 
called Read, by the captain's order; he came on deck, but shortly after he 
went down and went to bed again. The bed was on the larboard side of the 
cabin. Read could not see the augers, but he might hear the water run, as 
the cabin-boy heard it, and the witness heard it himself, a small hole being 
left open to keep the pumps at work. Read went to bed again, but he was on 
deck when the hole was beat with the crow-bar. Read was permitted to go 
down, but the boys were not. When the hole was bent through, the colours 
were hoisted ; the boat was already out, and all hands in it, except the cap- 
tain and witness. Witness packed up his things ■\\hen he was told they could 
not be forty-eight hours in the vessel, but he mentioned the matter to nobody. 
He packed them in a bread-bag which he emptied on the deck. When the 
holes were boring, the captain ordered the men aloft, to take in sail ; no one 
could possibly see or hear him, except witness, the captain, and Read. 

They left the vessel at eight o'clock. Several boats came off on the signal. 
The people in them said, they (captain Codlin and his people) had met with a 
sad misfortune; they answered, yes. The boat asked if they wanted any 
assistance, and offered to tow them on shore. The captain said she was his 
while she swam, and they had no business with her. The Swallow revenue 
cutter then came up, and took the brig in tow, fastening a hawser to the mast : 
the brig, which lay on her beam-ends before, immediately righted, and went 
down. Witness has no doubt that she went down in consequence of the 
boles. Read's trunk had come on board at Deal ; it was sent back the next 
day ; witness helped it into the boat: it was full of line when it came, and 
was not locked ; witness does not know what it contained when it went back. 
Captain Codlin and the whole crew went to the Ship tavern at Brighton. 
Read said to a lady who came to see him, that he had lost every thing be- 
longing to him, and that he was ruined. Easterhy and Macfarlane came 
to Brighton on Tuesday ; they came to the Ship tavern. Easterby asked 
where the holes were, and of what size ; there were some carpenter's tools 
on the floor, which had been brought from the vessel ; Easterhy asked if the 
holes were of the same size of the handle of the chisel that was among the 
tools; and being told they were, said, the witness should prepare the handle 
to plug the holes, in case the ship should come on shore, as she was then 
driving in. Macfarlane was in the room, but witness cannot say whether 
he could hear, as he spoke in a low voice. Easterby said Codlin was a d — d 

:^ / ' ' > ^i 


fool, he had made a stupid job of it; he should have done the business on 
the French coast, and then he might have made the shore of either country 
in the boat, in such fine weather. Macfarlane discoursed with them, but wit- 
ness did not hear what he said. Macfarlane and Easterby ordered the captain 
and witness to go to London together, and to take private lodgings, in which 
they should keep close, or they would be under sentence of death. Macfarlane 
took seats in the coach for them, and paid their passage. Read wrote on a 
piece of paper where witness was to go to in London, to Macfarlane's house. 
Witness received 9s. wages, and ^Macfarlane gave him a guinea ; this was after 
he had described the size of the hole ; he could not say whether the others were 
paid their wages. Witness came up with one of the bags, the captain being 
stopped by a gentleman (Mr. Douglas). The boy was put in his place at 
five or six in the morning. Read went with witness to the coach offices, 
Macfarlane came after, and Easterby came with the boy, who was apprentice 
to Storrow. Onlj"^ one pump had been worked for a length of time in the ship, 
the other was not in order ; there was a gear for the other, but the captain did 
not want to find it. The captain sent the boy down for the great-coat ; the 
boy, on his return, said the water was running; the captain said it was no 
such thing, it was only the water in the run, and told the boy to go forward. 
He ordered witness to go down and see, but jogged him as he passed, and 
told him to say it was nothing. Witness, on coming up, said it was only the 
water in the run. Witness staid in London two nights, and then went to his 
mother, near Saxmundham, in Sutiblk ; having no money, and failing to get 
a ship after several applications, he walked the whole way, which is eighty- 
eight miles. When he arrived, his mother told him there had been people 
after him about a ship ; and there had been hand-bills offering a reward. He 
immediately sent for the constable of the place, Mr. Askettle, and surrendered 
himself, to whom he told every thing, desiring him to take him to London. 

John INIorris, George Kennedy, Lacy, and James Welsh, corroborated Coop- 
er's testimony. Storrow proved the intent of the voyage, that it was to de- 
fraud the underwriters. The insurances were also proved. Several witnesses 
gave Read and Macfarlane a good character. 

As it appeared that Read took no active part in the business, and one of 
the witnesses having intimated that he was deaf, and the learned judge ob- 
serving that it was possible he could not hear the conspirators talking, and 
the boring of the ship, &c. he was acquitted, and the rest found Guilty ; but 
two points of law having been elucidated by Mr. Erskine, in favour of East- 
erby and Macfarlane, judgment was accordingly arrested, for the decision of 
the twelve judges. The prisoner heard the verdict with much firmness ; 
Read, with composure ; Easterby, apparently with indifference, lookingaround 
him ; Macfarlane's features showed he was inwardly much affected, though 
he bore himself with firmness. 

Sir William Scott then pronounced sentence of death on Codlin, in an im- 
pressive manner. Codlin then retired with a firm and undaunted deportment, 
taking a respectful leave of the court as he went out. 

On Friday preceding his execution, Mrs. Codlin left town for Windsor, 
with a petition to the king, which, however, her husband had declared he did 
not conceive would be of service ; yet, in spite of this declaration, he was 
in the fullest expectation of a respite until near twelve o'clock at night, when 
his hopes vanished. Previous to his execution, he freely communicated to 
Mr. Dring all the circumstances of his crime. At Brighton, he said, between 
five and six guineas were given him, and he was urged to go off, being as- 
sured that if he was taken he would be hung. On Saturday morning, Novem- 
ber 27, 1802, he was brought out of the jail of Newgate to proceed to undergo 
his sentence at the docks at Wapping. 

He was conducted from Newgate, by Ludgate-hill and St. Paul's, into 
Cheapside. A number of peace officers on horseback were at the head of the 
procession. Some officers belonging to the court of admiralty, with the city 




marshals, followed next. The sheriffs were in a coach, as was also the ordi- 
nary of Newgate, the Rev. Dr. Ford. Codlin was in a cart, with a rope 
fastened round his neck and shoulders. He sat between the executioner and 
his assistant. As he passed down Cheapside, Cornhill, and Leadenhall- 
street, and onward through Aldgate and Ratclifi'e highway, he continued to 
read the accustomed prayers with great devotion, in which he was joined by 
those who sat with him in the cart. As the procession drew near to the 
scene of execution, the difficulties of the passage grew continually greater, so 
that it was hardly possible for the peace officers to clear the way. At the 
entrance towards the dock, it became necessary that the criminal should be 
moved out of the cart, to walk to the scaffold, which was yet at some dis- 
tance. After coming down, he stood as erect as the confinement of his arms 
and shoulders would allow. His looks still wore an air of unchanged firm- 
ness. He walked on with a steady step, and v/as even observed to choose the 
least dirty paths. He ascended the ladder to the scaffold without betraying 
any emotions of terror. His body, after hanging for the due length of time, 
was cut down, and carried away in a boat by his friends. 


FOR MURDER, 1802. 

Joseph Wall was indicted for having, on the 10th of July, 1782, caused 
certain persons, with a piece of rope, to beat, penetrate, and wound, one Ben- 
jamin Armstrong, in several parts of his body, at Goree ; of which wounds 
he languished, and languishing, did live until the 15th of that month, and 
then died ; and that he, the said Joseph Wall, was present, aiding, abetting, 
helping, assisting, comforting, and maintaining the said persons so to wound 
the said Benjamin Armstrong, whereby he, the said Joseph Wall, the said 
Benjamin Armstrong did kill and murder. 

He was charged with two other indictments precisely of the same nature 
as the former; the one charging him with the murder of Thomas Upton : the 
other, of George Paterson ; to all of which governor Wall pleaded not guilty. 

At the commencement of the trial, the prisoner said he was rather deaf, and 
therefore requested that he might be allowed to come nearer. The lord chief 
baron said to the prisoner, "That is perfectly impossible; there is a regular place 
appointed by law for persons in your situation; we can make no distinctions 
of the sort yo\i desire, that would be invidious ; but we will afford you all 
possible assistance, by requesting the witnesses to speak loudly." 

The attorney-general opened the case on the part of the prosecution. 

The crime imputed to the prisoner at the bar is murder. He stands 
charged, on the present indictment, with the murder of Benjamin Armstrong, 
a sergeant in the garrison of Goree, when the prisoner was the commandant 
and governor of that island, in the month of July, 1782. That murder is 
charged to have been committed by the prisoner, in the punishment which he 
ordered to be inflicted on that person ; and the circumstances which led to that 
punishment, which was the cause of that man's death, will be for me to open 
to you, and then it will be for you to decide. 

Mr. Wall was governor and commandant of the garrison at Goree, which 
you know is an island on the coast of Africa. He had at that time under 
him an officer of the name of Lacey ; likewise, a lieutenant of the name of 
Fall ; another of the name of Ford ; another of the name of Phipps ; and an- 
other of the name of O'Shanly ; but no other military officer whose name is 
necessary to be mentioned. The circumstances of this case arose in the year 
1782 ; the exact time is the 10th of July in 1782, when the death was occa- 



sioned which is charged upon the prisoner as murder. The day following, 
the prisoner left his station at Goree as governor, and came off for England. 
He arrived here in August in that year. He was apprehended for this offence 
in March, 1784, under a warrant issued by order of the privy council. You 
will bear in mind, that most of those persons who were material witnesses to 
prove his innocence, if innocent he be, were then living, and within the reach 
of the process of the criminal justice of this country, and might have been 
brought forward for the vindication of the prisoner's innocence. In July, 
1782, this gentleman had this garrison under his command, with those 
officers I have mentioned, and one hundred and forty or one hundred and 
fifty men also under his command, as they had been, for some time prior to the 
period at which he announced his intended departure, and which actually took 
place on the llfh of July, 1782. Some time previous to this, the garrison 
had been under short allowance of provisions, from necessity I will suppose, 
or from some fair reason, although that is not stated to me ; but I will take it 
to be so, since the contrary does not appear. The men were put under short 
allowance, that is, to a restriction of food for the convenience of the garrison, 
and for continuing it in safety until farther supplies should arrive. In such 
cases, the men who are put upon short allowance are allowed a compensation 
in point of pay to the amount of the stoppage of their provisions. The gen- 
tleman now at the bar had announced his departure for the 1 1th of July ; there 
was going away with him, for England, a person of the name of Bearing, 
who was the paymaster of the garrison. In the hands of that person was, 
of course, the power, either to allow the men the money, or in future what 
was equivalent to money, some articles of barter, which would procure for 
them what they wanted. When this paymaster was about to depart, these 
men were anxious that this account might be settled, and, as the period of 
departure drew nigh, several of them resorted to the house where the pay- 
master lived, for the purpose of obtaining payment of what was due to them 
on account of the short allowance to which they had been restricted ; and 
here the case begins to unfold the disposition of the prisoner at the bar. 
What reason he had for mixing himself in considerations of this short allow- 
ance, and to interpose himself between those persons who call for an adjust- 
ment of their claims, and the person whose regular business it was to settle 
them, I am not apprized of, or, at least I will not take upon me to allege. 
The men resorted to the house of this paymaster, for they were desirous of 
obtaining what was due to them before the paymaster left the island, which 
was to be the next day. They were aware that a vast ocean would separate 
the paymaster and them in a short lime; and, considering the precariousness 
of human life, they thought it possible they might not afterwards be in a 
situation to urge tlieir claims with beneficial effect to themselves. On their 
coming towards the paymaster's house for this purpose, in considerable 
numbers, as you will have in evidence before you, and as they were passing 
the door of the governor, which was in their way, he reprimanded them, in 
anger, for resorting to the house of the paymaster ; and under terror of punish- 
ment, ordered them to go away. The men retired dutifully under that admo- 
nition. In about an hour and a half afterwards, several persons, whether 
the same as the former I do not know, but several persons, among whom was 
Armstrong, made a second application, or rather an intended ajiplication, to 
the paymaster. These men were proceeding towards the house of the 
paymaster. Armstrong appeared with these men. Governor Wall, the 
prisoner now before you, came out to meet them again. I do not know 
that he used the language of menace to them as before ; however, that will 
come before you in the evidence of the orderly sergeant, who attended the 
person of the governor, and who was of course obedient to his commands. 
He will state to you, that Armstrong was so far from being undutiful in his 
behaviour, that he took off his hat and paid all possible respect to the gover- 
nor, and said they only came to make a representation to the paymaster, 


r.nd respecfully retired ; and from that period, if there be any truth in the 
evidence that 1 am to lay before you, until the hour in which the punishment 
of Armstrong- was inflicted, which took place in tlie course of that day, and 
which led to his death in a few days, every thing in the conduct of the 
governor was furious and full of malice. 

This application, which was intended to have been made to the paymaster, 
was in the morning. There was an interval between that and the time of 
inflicting the punishment which ended in the death about which you are now 
to inquire, respecting which it will be incumbent on the prisoner to give you 
an account why the garrison was not in tranquillity, or, if it was not, why an 
investigation did not take place into the matter, lipon that there is an entire 
silence. We hear nothing of the defendant until the evening, that is, until 
about six o'clock, when the drum was beat what they call "a long roll," to 
call the soldiers on the parade, which had the eflect of bringing them all, as 
they were, some in their jackets, without any military preparation w'hatever, 
or any regard to their appearance. At this time there appeared on the 
parade, captain Lacy, lieutenant Fall, ensign Ford, and Mr. O'Shanly, four 
officers ; and after some conversation had taken place between the officers, 
there being on the parade a gun-carriage, and a person attending to perform 
the offices of tying, flogging, &c., a circle being formed, within which the 
officers were, Armstrong, all this time being among the men who had formed 
the circle, was then called out and ordered to strip, w hich he did. He was 
then tied to the gun-carriage ; black men, brought there for the purpose, not 
the drummers, who in the ordinary course of things would have had to flog 
this man, supposing him to have deserved flogging; but black inm were 
ordered to inflict on Armstrong the punishment ordered. Each took his turn, 
and gave this unhappy sufferer twenty-five lashes, until he had received the 
number of eight hundred. Punishments of this sort, 1 understand, are 
usually inflicted by drummers; but this was inflicted by black men, who did 
not belong to the regiment, and the instrument with which the punishment 
was inflicted was not a cat-o'-nine-tails, which is the usual instrument, but 
piece of rope of a greater thickness, and which was much more severe than the 
cat-o'-nine-tails. The rope will be exhibited to you in evidence, and there- 
fore I need not say any thing to you of its fitness or unfitness for this pur- 
pose. It will appear to you also, that while this punishment was inflicting, 
the prisoner urged these black men to be severe, in a language, some of 
which I shall not repeat, as it will be enough for you to hear it once from the 
witnesses. I shall pass by the coarseness of it ; but he said, among other 
things, " Cut him to the heart, and to the liver.'' Armstrong, the subject of 
this punishment, applied to him for mercy ; but the observation of the defen- 
dant, on that occasion, was, "That the sick season was coming on, which, 
together with the punishment, would do for him." After receiving a great 
number of lashes, that is, eight hundred, this poor creature was conducted to 
the hospital. He was in a situation in which it was probable his death 
might be the consequence, and, therefore, you will see the declaration he made, 
which the law admits in evidence; because the declaration of a man, made 
under an apprehended pending dissolution, is, by the law of this realm, consi- 
sidered tantamount to an oath. You will hear that he declared he was punished 
without any trial, and without ever being so much as asked, whether he had any 
thing to say in his defence ; and this evidence, if made under the impression I 
have stated, will undoubtedly be competent evidence to be laid before you. 

After this punishment had been inflicted upon this poor man (for I will not 
travel into the circumstances of the case of any other person whomsoever, but 
confine myself to that for which the prisoner now stands before you), the 
governor and the paymaster set off the next day for England, and they arrived 
here in the month of August following. — 

Here the attorney-general went over the circumstance of the prisoner 
escaping from the hands of the king's messenger at an inn at Reading, iiv 


their way up from Bath, where he was apprehended by virtue of a warrant 
from the secretary of state, in the year 1784 ; and of the proclamation which 
was issued afterwards, describing- his person, stating that he had iled from 
justice, and offering a reward of J-200 for apprehending him. He also 
noticed the letters which he sent in the previous October to lord Pelham, 
stating his readiness to take his trial. 

Evan Levjis examined. 

Upon seeing the men returning, I told the governor they were coming, 
before they reached the house, on which the governor came to the outside of 
the gate to meet them. When they came opposite the gate, he called out 
to one of them (Benjamin Armstrong), viho was a sergeant ; the governor 
asked him what he wanted, saying, "What do you want?" Armstrong 
said to him, "Your excellency, we were going to the commissary, to ask him 
to settle with us before he goes to England." Armstrong came up with his 
hat in his hand, as usual, with submission, and said to him, " Your excel- 
lency, we are going to the commissary." He was about four yards from the 
governor, and I was near enough to hear what passed ; but I do not remem- 
ber all that passed ; I cannot swear that I do ; but as far as I do recollect, I 
have stated. The governor told them to go to the barracks, and threatened 
them; then they went. The governor went to the men, and the men re- 
mained where they were. Armstrong came to the governor after he called 
him. I do not know what passed between the governor and the men, for the 
men turned their backs and walked off and appeared to be frightened. I do 
not recollect that there was any parley between them, but they appeared im- 
mediately to go off. I did not hear any noise or disturbance among them ; 
they did no harm that I could see. They were not in their uniform ; some 
of them were in blue jackets, but others were in plain dresses. I did not 
hear any thing pass, except between Armstrong and the governor. I did not 
hear any disrespectful language used. I should suppose that the second 
appearance of the men was between eleven and twelve, for it was before 
dinner hour, which, with the governor, was, I believe, at two. As to the 
men, they dined when they could. In the course of the afternoon, after the 
governor's dinner, the officers went away earlier than usual ; the governor 
went out, and I followed him. We conceived there was something due for 
short allowance, for we had been on short allowance, at different times, for 
some time ; but how m.uch I do not know. 

On that day, two or three of the officers dined with the governor; and, 
when he went out, I followed him. The governor walked down towards the 
main guard near the parade. The guard turned out to salute the governor 
as he passed, as usual. The governor went upon the ramparts, where there 
were two field-pieces (six-pounders), and I stood at the end of the ramparts; 
the governor ran by me towards the main-guard, and began to beat one of the 
guard who was then under arms ; 1 believe the man was in liquor ; he beat 
him for some time, then drew his sword, and took a bayonet from the sentry, 
and beat him with that, and confined both the sentry and the guard. He 
then ordered the drums to beat the long roll, which is to call the men on the 
parade. I was sent, if I recollect rightly, by the governor to call the men 
together as they were, that is, without arms ; they obeyed directly, and came 
without arms, as they were, for this was sooner than parade time. Captain 
Lacy, 1 believe, was there, but what non-commissioned officers, I do not re- 
member. The usual time of roll-call was, I believe, a little before sunset, 
but I do not recollect exactly. This was before that time, half an hour or 
nearly so. When they came on the parade, they were ordered to form a 
circle : I do not know whether by the governor's orders, or by those of one 
of the officers, but governor Wall was there. Captain Lacy was there ; four 
officers were there; I believe Mr. Ford, lieutenant Fall, and Mr. O'Shanley, 
were there at the conclusion; but I do not know whether they were there at 


the beginning. They were all inside the ring; the circle was small, for 
there were not above three hundred men, and they were formed two deep : I 
was close to the circle on the outside. The governor was in the inside of 
the circle. I heard some words pass, but cannot say what they were ; I could 
see every thing very well, as 1 leaned my head between the men. There 
was within the circle a carriage of a six-pounder; it was brought in just as 
the circle was formed. I cannot recollect who brought it. I heard the go- 
vernor speak to the officers; what was said, I do not recollect, but I heard 
the governor call Benjamin Armstrong out of the ranks. Armstrong was at 
that time in his proper place, among the rest of the men. 

He carne out, and was tied to the carriage of the cannon. Governor Wall 
ordered him to strip. He was tied up to the gun-carriage. He was then 
flogged by a black man, by order of governor Wall. There were five or six 
persons employed in flogging him. They changed hands as the drummers 
usually do ; I cannot tell how often, but, as well as I can recollect, they gave 
each twenty-five lashes. I do not recollect how many lashes he received, 
but certainly several, inflicted with a rope ; I cannot tell the size of it. These 
blacks were no part of the regiment ; I never saw anybody before nor since 
flogged in that way. Governor Wall was in the circle, urging these black 
men to do their duty, and threatening them, if they did not. I heard him 

call to the blacks, " Lay on him, you b , or else I will lay on you." I 

heard him say several times, " Cut him to the heart, cut him to tlie liver." 
I believe Armstrong begged for mercy, but I do not exactly remember the 
words. What I have said took place during the punishment of Armstrong; 
he was afterwards taken to the hospital, I believe. At this time, I did not 
see the least appearance of mutiny among the soldiers, nor any mutiny or 
disturbance between the time of the men passing the governor's house and 
the commissary's, and the punishment of Armstrong. I was at the barracks 
in the course of the day, when 1 heard them say, that they were to go up to 
the house of the commissary. They said they were advised by lieutenant 
Fall to go to the commissary, and to ask for their allowance before he went 
away. I cannot say that I ever saw Armstrong afterwards, either dead or 
alive. I heard that two or three days afterwards he died. There was no 
court-martial held on Armstrong, that I know of; I did not see any. I was 
near enough to see and hear and observe it, if it had been held. I have seen 
a drum-head court-martial at Chatham, but I do not recollect how that was; 
but it is usual to call on a man to answer a charge before he is punished. I 
saw the governor conversing with the officers for a moment. Armstrong 
was at this time in the ranks among the rest of the men ; and the whole of 
this conversation passed before he was called out of the ranks. I did not 
hear any sentence passed on him, nor do I believe there was any. I heard 
some words ; I heard him called out, and heard him ordered to strip. I did 
not hear what it was for. The first words addressed to him were to call him 
out of the ranks, and then he was ordered to strip. Governor Wall went 
away the next day, but I do not know how many officers went with him. 

Roger Muure examiutd. — I was a private in the garrison in 178'2, at Goree ; 
was present on the 10th of July; the troops paraded between four and five 
o'clock. The governor ordered lieutenant Fall to form a circle after the pa- 
rade was over. The officers, consisting of the governor, captain Lacy, lieu- 
tenant Fall, and lieutenant O'Shanley, had a conversation for some little time 
within the circle. I was not near enough to hear; the officers spoke gently. 
Armstrong was not seen speaking to the officers, nor they to him : he "was to 
the right of the company of sergeants. Governor Wall called Armstrong 
out of the ranks, and represented him as the ringleader of the mutiny. Arm- 
strong, who made some reply, and spoke to the officers, was close to the 
governor. In a short time the limbers of a six-pounder were brought into 
the circle. Armstrong was tied up by the governor's orders, having been 
stripped. One of the mulatto men, who was interpreter to the garrison, 


received orders to instruct the blacks what they were to do, and which way 
they were to inflict the punishment. I think there were about three or four 
of them. He was punished with a rope; it appeared, at a distance, about 
an inch in diameter. There were no knots. He received eight hundred 
lashes ; 1 counted them ; they changed regularly during the punishment, like 
the drummers of the regiment, each giving twenty-five strokes. Armstrong 
died in the space of four or five days. 1 saw- him carried to be buried. I 
saw no mutiny, except being dissatisfied, not having received money for short 
allowance; and, talking with each other, they observed that the governor and 
the commissary were going off the island, and if they did not get a settle- 
ment before they went, they never should. They had been on short allow- 
ance for some months. Armstrong said that he had been with the governor, 
who promised to settle every thing ; the men seemed in good spirits, and 
were quiet after this public declaration, and the parade was regularly formed. 
Armstrong, during the flogging, asked forgiveness, and said he would never 
be guilty of the like again. The governor told him that he hoped it would 
be a warning to him. If the manner of forming the circle was to be called 
a court-martial, I never saw one like it before or since. He was charged as 
a ringleader of the mutiny, afterwards he was called out, and tied up in a 
few minutes. There never has been a settlement of the short allowance 
money. I do not know what is become of the officers. 

Others deposed to the same effect. 

Mr, Ferrick examrned. — I was surgeon to the garrison of Goree, in 1782. 
I recollect what passed on the 10th of July. My quarters were near the go- 
vernor's house. I saw the governor on the evening parade. I was sent for 
about one hour before sunset ; there were present the governor, captain Lacy, 
lieutenants Fall and O'Shanley, and ensign Ford. Armstrong was being 
flogged when I entered the circle. When I came in, the governor said, this 

d d infamous scoundrel, I am going to punish him. The negroes were 

punishing him with a rope's end. I looked on. I understood he received 
eight hundred lashes. Nothing passed between the governor and me. The 
punishment appeared rather severe ; but I do not recollect that it was worse 
than the usual punishment, or that his cries were louder. I attended him 
afterwards, from day to day, at the hospital; he lived till the l.'ith : 1 have 
uniformly concluded, that the punishment was the cause of his death ; I did 
not make any observation to governor Wall on the state of the punishment. 
(The witness was asked some questions as to his reason for not doing so, 
when Mr. Knowles objected to the question. The court, after a short con- 
sultation, ruled, that the witness was not bound to give any answer founded 
on his own opinions.) 

Witness proceeded. There was not the smallest appearance of disorder 
or mutiny on that day. 

Lord chief-baron. — Was there, in your opinion, any chance of his death 
from the flogging'? 

Witness. — My present opinion is, that there was a great chance of his 
dying. Captain Lacy, lieutenants Fall and O'Shanley, and ensign Ford, are 
dead ; I do not know whether Mr. Bearing is dead. The instrument with 
which Armstrong was punished does more mischief, because it bruises, and 
does not cut like the stripes of a cat. I did not know it at that time. His 
back exhibited evident marks of bruises, but was very little cut ; he passed 
blood both ways, and was asthmatic in the lungs. 

Lord chief-baron. — How long had you been in the practice at that time ■? — 
A. Two or three years. 

The witnesses were then called for the defence. 

The first witness called on the part of the prisoner, was Mrs. Lacy, who 
stated that she was the widow of captain Lacy, so frequently mentioned in 
the former part of the proceedings. 

She was in the government house, at Goree, on the 1 0th of July, I78'2, 
c 2 30 


when several solfliers came there to claim the payment of what was due 
to them for the short allowance they were placed on, while Mr. Adams was 
the governor. The first time they came, was about nine or ten in the morn- 
ing; in number, they might have amounted to seventy or eighty men. They 
stopped opposite the government house, and were headed by sergeant Arm- 
strong. He addressed the prisoner, governor Wall, and swore that if he did 
not comply with their demand, they would break open the stores, and satisfy 
themselves. They came again some time afterwards, and from their manner 
she could not consider them to be sober. The governor next went to them, 
and Armstrong swore, that if their request was not complied with, the stores 
should be broke open. The governor requested to have a few hours to con- 
sider of it, and desired them, at the same time, to return to their barracks. 
They then went away shouting and making a great noise. They said the 
governor should not leave the island till they were satisfied ; and Armstrong, 
as well as two others, of the names of Upton and Paterson, spoke in so 
threatening and alarming a manner, as to make her apprehensive of great 
danger. It was a quarter of an hour before the governor could persuade them 
to depart; after whicii he sent for the officers off duty (of whom her late 
husband was one, and lieutenant Fall and O'Shanley the others), whom he 
acquainted with the mutiny going forward. It was agreed amongst them, 
at that meeting, that they should not confine all the offenders at once, but 
take them separately, and try the ringleaders by a court-martial. The go- 
vernor then sent to Spurly, the drum-major, desiring him to be prepared for 
executing whatever the court might determine; and, on the return of that 
officer, he reported that all the cats-o'-nine-tails were destroyed in the morn- 
ing, and that the governor, for his own safety, should immediately embark, 
as the men were resolved not to submit to any of them being punished. 
Lieutenant O'Shanley proposed that they should be punished by the linguist 
and his people, as the regular drummers were engaged in the mutiny. The 
governor ordered the court-martial to prepare, and Lacy to have every thing 
ready to hold it on the parade. The linguist was sent for, and came to the 
government house with the officers. Lacy, Fall, and O'Shanley. 

Peter Williams was a non-commissioned officer at Goree, and recollected 
the day before governor Wall embarked on his return to this country. About 
eleven o'clock on tliat day, he saw nearly a dozen men parading before the 
governor's house, and demanding to be paid their short allowance money. 
Kearney was then the orderly-sergeant u])on duty. The governor refused to 
comply, and ordered them to return to the barracks. They did so, but re- 
turned in the evening, more numerous than before, and led on by sergeant 
Armstrong, Paterson, and Upton. They were very forward in insisting on 
the governor's compliance, and were seconded zealously by two drummers 

of the African corps. Armstrong said he would be d d if he should quit 

the island till the people were satisfied ; and the party went away in a clamo- 
rous, noisy, and disorderly manner. They came three times on the same 
day, and conducted themselves with equal irregularity. He heard the three 

parties, Armstrong, Paterson, and Upton, say, they would be d d if they 

would not break open the stores. This was distinctly stated by each of 
them. He was present when the circle was formed on the parade, in the 
usual military form. The governor was outside of the ring, and three or 
four officers were in it, holding a court-martial upon the deceased, for mutiny. 
Orders to that effect were given them by the governor; but he did not hear 
them say any thing to the deceased. After they had came to a decision, 
captain Lacy left the circle to report their proceedings to the governor, upon 
which the latter communicated to Armstrong, that the court had sentenced 
him to receive eight hundred lashes with a rope's end. He believed the 
whole of the punishment was inflicted, after which Armstrong walked, un- 
supported, to the hospital, with his shirt thrown over his shoulders. 

General Forbes had known Mr. Wall between thirty and forty years ; they 


had served together at Havannah. After that he had not an opportunity of 
seeing him till the year 1786, when he met him in Paris. With respect to 
his character, he always knew him to behave as became an oflScer and a gen- 
tleman, in every respect, and with the most perfect correctness. 

General Mackenzie stated, that he had known governor Wall from the 
year 1763 to 1770 ; that he had served with him, and always regarded him as 
a man of great humanity and good temper. 

The rev, Mr. Clark stated, that he knew Mr. Wall at Pisa and at Florence, 
in the years 1795 and 1799; that he seemed to him to be a most tender and 
atfectionate husband and father ; and, from every part of his conduct that came 
under his (Mr. Clark's) observation, he considered him as a man of distin- 
guished humanity. 

The jury retired for about three-quarters of an hour, and, at their return 
into court, the foreman, who appeared to be affected, pronounced in a low 
and faltering voice, their verdict of — Guilly. 

The recorder, in addressing him, said, he had been most ably defended by 
gentlemen of abilities and experience, but religion and law hold it sacred, 
that he who sheds the blood of man, by men shall his blood be shed. He 
then proceeded to pass the fatal sentence of the law, which was in substance 
— That he, Joseph Wall, be taken to the place from whence he came, and 
from thence to a place of execution, there to be hanged by the neck until he 
be dead, and his body afterwards given to be anatomized and dissected, ac- 
cording to the statute in that case made and provided. — " Prisoner, the Lord 
have mercy on your soul." 

Wall was six feet four inches high, of genteel appearance, and sixty-five 
years of age. He was afterwards executed at the Old Bailey, amid the plau- 
dits of the populace, who considered his execution as the triumph of law over 
abused power. 



On Tuesday , the 28th of December, Admiral Byncj was brought to the bar 
by the marshal, and the commission, with all the articles of accusation exhi- 
bited against him, were read. 

On Wednesday the 29th, rear-admiral West was sworn and examined. 

Court. What distance do you imagine the Ramillies might be from the 
Buckingham at the time of the engagement with the French fleet 1 — Admiral 
West. I believe about three miles. 

Court. Do you think the admiral and the rear could have come up to the 
assistance of the van, and come to as close an engagement with the enemy? 
— Admiral West. I knew of no impediment to the contrary ; but I cannot 
presume to say there was no impediment ; nor I would not be understood to 
mean there was none. 

Court. How was the wind and weather? — Admiral West. The wind was 
very calm, and the weather exceeding fine. 

Court. Could you keep your lower ports open? — Admiral West. Yes, I 
could ; and I knew of but one ship that could not, and that was theDeptford, 
who lowered her ports occasionally. 

Court. Did you see any fire from admiral Byng's ship during the engage- 
ment? — Admiral West. When I was looking towards the Intrepid, which 
was in distress astern of her, I saw some smoke, which might very probably 
be from the admiral's ship, or some of his division; but I was not able to 
discover at what ship it was directed. ... - . y-,^.i,~j. ;< 



Jldmiral Byng. Was it not in the power of the enemy to decline coming to 
a close engagement, as the two fleets were situated ] — Jidmiral West, Yes, it 
was; but, as they lay to our fleet, I apprehended they intended to fight. 

Admiral Byng. Are you of opinion that the forces on board the fleet could 
have relieved Minorca? — Jldmiral West. I believe they could not. 

Admiral Byng. Were not some of the ships deficient in their complement 
of men ? — Admiral JJ'est. Yes. 

Admiral By 7ig. Were not some of the ships out of repair? — Admiral West. 

Admiral Byng. Was not the fleet deficient, in point of force, with the enemy 1 

Admiral West. Yes. 

Lord Blakeney was sworn. 

Admiral Byng to lo7-d Blakeney. Do you think the forces could have been 
landed 1 — Lord Blakeney. Yes ; I think they might very easily be bnded. 

Admiral Byng. Was there not some fascines thrown in the way 1 — Lord 
Blakeney. Yes ; but they were such as I think might easily have been de- 

Court. If the admiral had attempted to land the men, would it not have 
been attended with danger? — Lord Blakeney. Danger! most certainly. It 
could not be so easy as stepping into this ship. I have been upwards of fifty 
years in the service, and I never knew any expedition of consequence carried 
into execution but what was attended with some danger; but of all the expe- 
ditions I ever knew, this was certainly the worst. 

Admiral Byng. Had not the French a castle at the point, which might have 
prevented the landing of the troops ? — Lord Blakeney. Not on the 20th of May ; 
and the enemy were then in such distress for ammunition that they fired stones 
at the garrison. 

.Idniiral Byng. Do you think that the officers and few men I had on board 
the fleet could have been of any great service to the garrison ? — Lord Blakeney. 
Yes, certainly, of great service ; for I was obliged, at that time, to set a great 
number of my men to plaster the breaches. 

Captain Everitt examined. 

Court. What time did you see or discern the island of Minorca ? — Captain 
Everitt. We got sight of the island of Minorca about six o'clock in the morn- 
ing of the 19th of May. 

Court. What was your nearest distance from St. Philip's castle ? — Captain 
Everitt. About eleven or twelve o'clock in the forenoon of the 19th of May, 
we were about two leagues distant from St. Philip's castle ; and I believe 
that was the nearest distance I was to it. 

Court. What time was the French fleet first discovered ? — Captain Everitt. 
About two or three in the afternoon of the same day (the 19th of May), the 
French fleet was seen distinctly, standing to the westward ; but I cannot 
pretend to say at what distance. 

Court. How did the British fleet stand at that time? — Captain Everitt. To 
the S. E. the wind at S. S. W. moderate fine weather. 

Court. What time did you see the French fleet preparing for engagement ? — 
Captain Everitt. On the 20th of May, about eight or nine o'clock in the 

Court. At what distance was the Ramillies from the Buckingham at the 
time of the engagement ? — Captain Everitt. I believe about three or four miles. 

Court. Could the admiral and the rear (^ome up to the assistance of the 
van, and come to as close an engagement with the enemy ? — Captaiii Everitt. 
I am of the opinion that the admiral's division might have carried all their 
sail, and thereby assisted the van, and prevented them from receiving so much 
fire from the rear of the enemy. 

Saturday the first of January, the court being sitting, lord Blakeney ap- 


peared in consequence of admiral Byng's request, about nine o'clock in the 
morning, when the admiral proposed the following question : — 

Admiral Byng to lord Blakeney. If I had landed the troops, do you think 
it could have saved St. Philip's from falling into the hands of the enemy % 
— Lord Blakeney. It is impossible for me to pretend to answer that question 
with any certainty ; but really, I am of opinion, that if they had been landed, 
it would have enabled me to hold out the siege till sir Edward Hawke had 
come to my relief. 

Then the four first lieutenants of the Buckingham, admiral West's own 
ship, were examined, and they all agreed that they did not know of any im- 
pediment to hinder the admiral and his division from coming to the assistance 
of the van, which was closely engaged and raked by the enemy's rear as 
they came up, and that they did not see the admiral go to a close engagement 
with the enemy, agreeable to his own signals. 

Monday, the 3d of January. 
Captain Everitt was cross-examined. 

Court. If admiral Byng had come to a close engagement, do you think a 
complete victory might have been obtained 1 — Caplain Everitt. Why, really, 
1 think there was all the reason in the world to expect it, it being very well 
known that admiral West beat off two of the enemy's ships, though he had 
but five ships to their six, and their metal much heavier. 

Court. How was the wind] — Captain Everitt. An exceeding fair gale. 

Court. Had you too much or too little ■? — Captain Everitt. Neither : just 
enough, and no more. 

Captain Gilchrist was sworn. 

Court. Did every ship bear down at a proper distance to attack the enemy 1 
— Captain Gilchrist. No; not according to signals thrown out for that pur- 
pose by the admiral, between twelve and one o'clock ; but the rear-admiral 
and his division bore down right before the wind, and hauled up opposite 
their proper ships, and attacked the enemy ; except the Defiance, which ap- 
peared to be rather too much ahead. The ships in the rear were in a line of 
battle ahead ; upon which the Defiance threw all aback, and fell down upon 
her proper ship, the headmost ship of the enemy. 

Court. Did the admiral bear down before the wind upon the enemy 1 — 
Captain Gilchrist. No; nor any of his division. 

Court. Did the ships in the rear make all the sail they could in order to 
close with the enemy, from the time the signal was given for battle till the 
action was over ] — Captain Gilchrist. No ; but in the latter part of the action 
admiral Byng set all his sail, except the top-gallant sails. 

Court. Would the wind and weather permit him to carry all the sail in the 
ship that he commanded ] — Captain Gilchrist. The wind was such that I 
could have carried all the sail in the ship that I commanded ; and 1 don't 
know any reason why he could not do the same. 

Captain Amherst was sworn. 

Court. Could the admiral and the rear have come up to the assistance of 
the van, and come to as close an engagement with the enemy] — Captain 
Amherst. I do not know any reason why he could not. 

Court. As the two fleets were situated, do you think it was in the power of 
the enemy to decline coming to a close engagement? — Captain Amherst. Yes ; 
I believe it was ; but, as they lay to our fleet, I imagined they intended to 
come to an engagement. 

Court. How did the admiral behave during the engagement? — Captain 
Amherst. I cannot pretend to speak positively as to the admiral's conduct 
during the engagement. 

Captain Young was examined. 

Court, Were any of the ships in our rear in danger of being on board you, 




occasioned by the loss of your foretop-mast 1 — Captain Young. Not as I could 

Court. Do you think it occasioned any impediment to admiral Byng and 
his division from pfoing down to engage the enemy closely 1 — Captain Young. 
I could not perceive it did. 

Court. Did the admiral, and his division, bear dovi'u on your stern, and 
go to the centre and rear of the enemy 1 — Captain Young. No, they did not; 
when my top-mast went away. 

Court. Did they afterwards at any time 1 — Captain Young. Yes, they did 
about an hour after, and went to leeward of me, and passed me. 

Court. Did they go down to the centre and rear to engage properly 1 — 
Captain Young. The French were then gone, and left me astern. 

Court. When the P'rench fleet passed you, what sail had they 1 — Captain 
Young. To the best of my remembrance, they had their top-sails and fore- 

Court. What sail had the admiral and his division abroad then"? — Captain 
Young. Fore-sails and stay-sails. 

Court. What sail had the Culloden'? — Captain Young. Her top-gallant 

Court. How long was it after you had lost your topmast before the admiral 
and his division passed to leeward of you ] — Captain Young. I believe it 
might be about three quarters of an hour„ or an hour. 

Court. Could the admiral and his division, as the wind was then, if they 
had set all their sails, from the time the signal for engaging was made, and 
bore away properly ; could they have come to a close engagement with the 
enemy ? — Captain Young. Yes, they certainly could ; the French were lay- 
ing to for us. I went down only under my top-sails, and I don't know why they 
could not have added sails in proportion to the distance and going of their 

Court. Did you observe what sail the admiral and his division were under 
during the three quarters of an hour, or an hour which you just now men- 
tioned ■? — Captain Young. No, I did not take any particular notice. 

Court. Did you observe that they made any motions for going down to the 
enemy] — Captain Young. No, I did not. 

Court. Before the French ran did you see the admiral and his division closely 
engaged with the enemy 1 — Captain Young. No, I did not, they were 
astern and to windward of me. 

Court. Did the admiral and his division bear down to the enemy when you 
did ] — Captain Young. No. 

Court. What sail were the admiral and his division under at that time? — 
Captain Young. Under their top-sails and fore-sails. 

Court. Could the admiral and his division have closed the enemy, to have 
engaged properly, if they had borne down as the Intrepid did ? — Captain 
Young. Yes; for the French were laying to. 

Court. Supposing the admiral and his division had set all their sail, did 
they lay to long enough to admit of it] — Captain Young. Yes, they lay to 
long enough for me, and I suppose for the rest too. 

Court. When the signal for engaging was made, were our ships in a proper 
line of battle, ahead of one another ] — Captain Young. Yes ; there was a very 
good line of battle. 

Court. Had all our ships bore away at the same time, would it not have 
prevented the running aboard each other ] — Captain Young. They were not 
so near together, but every ship had room enough to wear. 

The 10th of January. 

Captain Carnival loas examined. 
" I went," said he, " to my window abaft, to take a view of the fleet when 
in the line of battle, and was extremely surprised to see the admiral and his 


division at so great a distance upon the weather quarter, and seeing the Intre- 
pid in great distress, and no signal given for removing her out of the line, I 
went to her assistance, and, after getting lier out of the line, fell into her sta- 
tion, and engaged the Foudroyant, the French admiral, being the ship which 
I imagined fell to my lot in the then line of battle." 

He also said, he knew of no impediment to prevent the admiral's engaging 
at a proper distance, any more than the rest of the tleet. 

Tuesday, the 11th of January. 
Captain Gardiner, of the RamiUies, the adniiraPs ship, teas examiiied. 

Court. Were all the sails of the Ramillies sef? — Captain Gardiner. No, 
they were not. 

Court. If the Ramillies and the admiral's division had carried all their sail, 
do you think they could have assisted the van, and have prevented them from 
receiving so much fire from the enemy's rear 1 — Captain Gardiner. I do not 
believe they might. 

Court. Did you advise the admiral to bear down ] — Captain Gardiner.! did, 
but the admiral objected to it, lest an accident of a similar nature with that 
of admiral Matthews on the same seas, should be the consequence. 

Court. Did the admiral show any signs of fear or cowardice ? — Captain 
Gardiner. No, quite the reverse. 

Court. Have you any thing to allege against the admiral's personal beha- 
viour ] — Captain Gardiner. No, I have not. 

Wednesday, the 12th of January. 
Lord Robert Bertie tvas sworn and examined. 

Court. Where was you stationed 1 — Lord Bertie. Upon the quarter deck 
with the admiral. 

Court. If the officers and recruits that were intended for Minorca had been 
landed, do you think they would have saved fort St. Philip's"? — Lord Bertie. 
No, I think they were of greater service on board the fleet. 

Court. Was you on the quarter deck with the admiral in the engagement? 
— Lo. d Bertie. Yes; but upon informing the admiral that I discovered one of 
our own ships through the smoke upon the lee-bow of the Ramillies, and 
which ship I was apprehensive the Ramillies would fire into without seeing 
her, I was detached by the admiral between decks to stop firing. 

Court. Did you discover any signs of fear or confusion in the admiral 1 — 
Lord Bertie. No, far from it; he expressed an impatience to engage the 

Court. How near were you to the enemy at the time of the engagement? — 
Lord Bertie. We were so near the enemy as to be hulled by them, and many 
of the enemy's shots passed over us. 

Court. Did you ever hear any murmurings. or complainings, by any of the 
officers or men on board, upon a supposition that the admiral had not done hi8 
duty ? — Lord Bertie. No ; I never heard any tbing like it. 

Lord Robert Bertie's examination being finished, colonel Smith, who was 
also upon the quarter deck with the admiral, was examined next, who con- 
firmed what lord Bertie had said, in every particular ; and he also added, that 
a shot from the enemy passed between him and lord Robert Bertie, as they 
were abaft the main-mast, wbich took off the head of a timber upon the deck ; 
and went through the hammocks in the main shrouds. 

Monday, the 17th of January. 

Captain H. Ward, of the CuUoden, was examined ; who declared that the 
shot fell short ofhim, being to leeward of the admiral, and gave it as his opinion 
that had the admiral bore down they might have taken every ship of the ene- 
my. After him several of his lieutenants were examined, who all deposed to 
the very same purpose. •■,.,. , . 


All the witnesses beings examined, admiral Byng was called upon to make 
his defence, which he did in the words, or to the substance following : — 

" Gentlemen, — The articles of the charge exhibited against me are of such 
a nature, that every thing which can be supposed interesting to a man is con- 
cerned in the event of this cause. My character, my property, and even my 
life are at stake ; and I should indeed, have great reason to be alarmed, 
were not I conscious of my innocence, and fully persuaded of the justice and 
equity of the court. 

"On the 17th of May I was joined by his majesty's ship the Phoenix, off 
Majorca, and got off Mahon the 19th. The P'hcenix confirmed the intelli- 
gence I received before at Gibraltar, of the strength of the French fleet, and 
of their being at Mahon. The British colours were still flying at the castle 
of St. Philip's, and several bomb batteries playing upon it from different 
parts : on the west part of St. Philip's we saw French colours flying. I 
despatched the Phoenix, Chesterfield, and Dolphin ahead to reconnoitre the 
harbour's mouth, and captain Hervey to endeavour to land a letter to general 
Blakeney, to acquaint- him the fleet was there to his assistance, though every 
one thought we could be of no service to him, as by all accounts, could we 
have spared any people, no place was secured for covering a landing. The 
Phoenix was also to make the private signal between captain Hervey and 
captain Scrope ; but the enemy's fleet appearing to the south-east, and the 
wind coming off the land, I was obliged to call those ships in, before they 
could get so near the harbour as to discover what batteries or guns might 
be placed to prevent our having any communication with the castle. Falling 
little wind, it was five before I could form my line, or distinguish any of the 
enemy's motions, and was unable to judge of their force more than by their 
numbers, which were seventeen, and thirteen appeared large. 

" At first they stood towards us in a regular line, and tacked about seven, 
in order, as I thought, to endeavour to gain the wind of us in the night; so 
that, being late, I tacked, in order to keep the weather-gage of them, and 
also to make sure of the land wind. 

"After getting round the small island, called the Laire of Mahon, at ten 
in the morning, I was within a league of the port ; but on seeing the enemy's 
fleet, I thought it more immediately my duty to bear away at eleven, to meet 
them. This obliged me to recall, with reason, the three frigates which I had 
sent ahead of the fleet, to reconnoitre the harbour's mouth, to land a letter 
for general Blakeney, to acquaint him the fleet was arrived to his assistance, 
and to know in what manner it could be of the most effectual service. 

"This behaviour will, I hope, appear to the court to be suggested by pru- 
dence, all that could have been attempted in the space of an hour, and the 
most advantageous step which could have been taken on that occasion. It 
proves that I did not depend on the hearsay evidence which I had received, 
even from the best authorities at Gibraltar, nor on the united opinion of every 
officer at that place; but that I was determined to be certified of the true 
state of the harbour and citadel from general Blakeney himself, as I knew 
that captain Scrope, w^ho, together with all the soldiers and marines of Mr. 
Edgecomb's ships, and one hundred seamen, had been left to reinforce the 
garrison, would come off in his barge, and bring me a just relation of every 
circumstance necessary to be known ; and though I mentioned in my letter 
of the 25th of May, 'That it was the opinion of all the sea and land officers, 
that they could render no service to the garrison, as no place was covered for 
the landing of any men, could they have spared any :' in this I only gave 
my opinion agreeable to that of all the other officers. Their opinion had no 
influence upon my conduct, and was only meant to signify what might have 
been the event, supposing the French fleet had not appeared at that time. 

" So far then I hope it will appear to the court, that neither knowledge of 
my profession, prudence in conducting the expedition, nor duty to my king 
and country, appear to be deficient in me. 


" When then, from the inferiority of the English, nothing could be rea- 
sonably expected but misfortune and disgrace ; or, if by the greatest efforts 
of good fortune, victory should declare for our fleet, that no advantage could 
be drawn from it; when the risk of losing the whole fleet was the result of 
an unanimous council of war ; and the nation, considering the real state of 
the English and French navies, so little able to sustain a loss of that kind ; 
when Gibraltar would have been left defenceless, and fallen of course to the 
enemy ; could the seeking the French admiral, by a commander who foresaw 
these probable consequences with not only an inferior, but a shattered fleet, 
and no other ships in the Mediterranean to reinforce him, have been justified 
in the judgment of men who have studied the nature of military achieve- 
ments, or according to the rules and observations of ancient and modern wri- 
ters on this head. 

"The utmost advantage could have been but a prolongation of the siege, 
without the least probability of raising it ; because the fleet, unable to keep 
the seas, must have retreated to Gibraltar, the port of Mahon being still com- 
manded by the enemy's batteries." 


At a court-martial assembled on board his majesty's ship St. George, in 
Portsmouth harbour, upon the 27th of January, 1757, present, vice-admiral 
Smith, president, rear-admiral Holbourne, rear-admiral Norris, rear-admiral 
Broderick, captain Holmes, captain Geary, captain Boys, captain Moore, 
captain Simcoe, captain Douglas, captain Bentley, captain Keppel, and cap- 
tain Dennis: The court, pursuant to an order from the lords commissioners 
of the admiralty, having heard the evidence, and the prisoner's defence, and 
very maturely and thoroughly considered the same, they are unanimously of 
opinion that he did not do his utmost to relieve St. Philip's castle, and also 
that during the engagement between his majesty's fleet under his command, 
and the fleet of the French king, on the 20th of May last, he did not do his 
utmost to take, seize, and destroy the ships of the French king, which it was 
his duty to have engaged, and to assist such of his majesty's ships as were 
engaged in fight with the French ships, which it was his duty to have as- 
siste-d; and do therefore unanimously agree that he falls under part of the 
twelfth article of an act of parliament, of the twenty-second year of his 

firesent majesty, for amending, explaining, and reducing into one act of par- 
iament the laws relating to the government of his majesty's ships, vessels, 
and forces by sea ; and as that article positively prescribes death, without 
any alternative left to the discretion of the court, under any variation of cir- 
cumstance, the court do, therefore, hereby unanimously adjudge the said ad- 
miral John Byng to he shot to death, at such time, and on board such ship, as 
the lords commissioners of the admiralty shall direct. 

But as it appears by the evidence of lord Robert Bertie, lieutenant-colonel 
Smith, captain Gardiner, and other ofl!icers of the ship, who were near the 
person of the admiral, that they did not perceive any backwardness in him 
daring the action, or any marks of fear, or confusion, either from his counte- 
nance or behaviour, but that he seemed to give his orders coolly and distinct- 
ly, and did not seem wanting in personal courage, and from other circum- 
stances, the court do not believe that his misconduct arose either from cow- 
ardice or disaffection, and do therefore unanimously think it their duty most 
earnestly to recommend him as a proper object of mercy. 

It was, however, made a party question — the ministers were blamed for not 
sending a stronger fleet, — and then, to screen themselves, sacrificed Byng; 
who was barbarously shot for what at worst was but an error of judgment. 

X 31 ■-- 





Richard Savage, James Gregory, and William Merchant were indicted 
for the murder of James Sinclair : Savage, by jjiving him, with a drawn 
sword, one mortal wound in the loM-er part of the body, of the length of 
half an inch, and the depth of nine inches, on the 20th of November, 1727, 
of which mortal wound he languished till the next day, and then died : and 
Gregory and Merchant by being present, aiding, abetting, comforting, and 
maintaining the said Savage, in committing the said murder. 

At the request of the prisoners, the witnesses were examined apart. 

Mr. Nuttal. — On Monday the 20th of November last, about eleven at 
night, the deceased, Lemery, his brother, and I, went to Robinson's coffee- 
house, near Charing Cross, where we staid till one or two in the morning. 
We had drank two three-shilling bowls of punch, and were just concluding 
to go, when the prisoners came into the room. Merchant entered first, and, 
turning his back to the fire, he kicked down our table without any provoca- 
tion. What do you mean 1 said I; and what do you mean? said Gregory. 
Presently Savage drew his sword, and we retreated to the farther end of the 
room. Gregory drawing too, I desired them to put up their swords, but they 
refused. I did not see the deceased draw, but Gregory turning to him, said, 
villain, deliver your sword ; and soon after, he took the sword from the 
deceased. Gregory's sword was broken in the scuffle; but, with the de- 
ceased's sword, and part of his own, he came and demanded mine; and I 
refusing to deliver it, he made a thrust at me. I defended myself. He en- 
deavoured to get my sword from me ; but he either fell of himself, or I threw 
him, and took the deceased's sword from him. I did not see Savage push at 
the deceased, but I heard the deceased say, I am a dead man ! And soon 
after the candles were put out. I afterwards went up to the deceased, and 
saw something hang out at his belly, which I took to be his caul. The maid 
of the house came in, and kneeled down to suck the wound, and it was after 
this that the soldiers came in : and I and Gregory were carried to the watch- 

Gregory. — Did not I say, put up your swords % 

Nutial. — There might be such an expression, but I cannot call to mind 
when it was spoke. 

Mr. Lemery. — 1 was with the deceased, Mr. Nuttal, and my brother, at 
Robinson's coffee-house, and we were ready to go home, when somebody 
knocked at the door. The landlady opened it, and let in the prisoners, and 
lighted them into another room. They would not stay there, but rudely 
came into ours. Merchant kicked down the table. Our company all re- 
treated. Gregory came up to the deceased, and said, you rascal, deliver 
your sword. Swords were drawn. Savage made a thrust at the deceased, 
who stooped, and cried oh ! At which Savage turned pale, stood for some 
time astonished, and then endeavoured to get away, but I held him. The 
lights were then put oat. We struggled together. The maid came to my 
assistance, pulled off his hat and wig, and clung about him. He, in striving 
to force himself from her, struck at her, cut her in the head, and at last got 
away. I went to a night-cellar, and called two or three soldiers, who took 
him and Merchant in a back court — when Savage gave the wound, the de- 
ceased had his sword drawn, but held it with the point down towards the 
ground, on the left side. As to Merchant, I did not see that he had any 

Mr. Nuttal again. — Nor I ; nor did I see him in the room after the fray 


began. But after the candles were put out, he was taken with Savage in a 
back court. 

Jane Leader. — I was in the room, and saw Savage draw first. Then 
Gregory went up to the deceased, and Savage stabbed him ; and, turning 
back, he looked pale. The deceased cried, I ana dead ! I am dead ! — I opened 
his coat, and bid the maid-servant suck the wound. She did, but no blood 
came. I went to see the deceased upon his death-bed, and desired him to 
tell me how he was wounded. He said, the wound was given him by the 
least man in black ; this was Savage, for Merchant was in coloured clothes, 
and had no sword, — and that the tallest of them, which was Gregory, past, 
or struck his sword, while Savage stabbed him. I did not see the deceased's 
sword at all, nor did he open his lips, or speak one word to the prisoners. 

Mrs. Edersby. — I keep Robinson's coffee-house. When I let the prisoners 
in, I perceived they were in drink. 1 showed them a room. They were 
very rude to me. I told them, if they wanted any liquor, they should have 
it ; but, if they did not, I desired their absence. Upon which one of them 
took up a chair, and offered to strike me with it. They went into the next 
room, which is a public coffee-room in the day-time. Merchant kicked down 
tlie table. Whether the other company were sitting or standing at that table, 
I cannot be positive ; but it was a folding table with two leaves, and there 
were two other tables in the same room. Swords were drawn ; the deceased 
was wounded, and Savage struggled with the maid-servant, and cut her, over 
the head with his sword. 

Mary Rock, the maid. — My mistress and I let the prisoners into the house. 
My mistress showed them a room. Merchant pulled her about very rudely, 
and, she making resistance, he took up a chair, and offered to strike her with 
it. Then asking, who was in the next room 1 I answered, some company 
who have paid their reckoning, and are just going, and you may have the 
room to yourselves, if you will have but a little patience. But they would 
not, and so they ran in. I went in not long after, and saw Gregory and 
Savage with their swords drawn, and the deceased with his sword in his 
hand, and the point from him. Soon after I heard one of them say, poor 
dear Sinclair is killed ! 1 sucked the wound, but it would not bleed. Savage 
endeavoured to get away, but I stopt him. I did not see the wound given to 
the deceased, but I afterwards saw the encounter between Mr. Nuttal and 
Mr. Gregory. 

Mr. Taylor, a clergyman. — On the 21st of November I was sent for to 
pray by the deceased, and after I had recommended him to the mercy of 
Almighty God, Mr. Nuttal desired me to ask him a few questions ; but, as I 
thought it not belonging to my province, I declined it. Mr. Nuttal, however, 
willing to have a witness to the words of a dying man, persuaded me to stay 
while he himself asked a question. And then, turning to the deceased, he 
said, do you know from which of the gentlemen you received the wound ? 
The deceased answered, from the shortest in black (which was Savage), the 
tallest seized hold of my sword, and the other stabbed me. 

Rowland Hulderness, watchman. — I came to the room just after the wound 
was given, and then I heard the deceased say, I was stabbed barbarously, 
before my sword was drawn. 

John Wilcox, another watchman. — I saw the deceased leaning his head 
upon his hand, and heard him then say, I am a dead man, and was stabbed 

Mr. Wilkey, surgeon. — I searched the wound, it was on the left side of the 
belly, as high as the navel. The sword had grazed on the kidney, and 1 
believe that wound was the cause of his death. 

Court. — Do you think the deceased could have received that wound in a 
posture of defence ] 

Mr, Wilkey. — I believe he could not, except he was left-handed. 




Mr. Gregory said, that the reason of their g-oiiig into that room was for the 
benefit of the fire ; that the table was thrown down accidentally ; that the 
house bore an infamous character, and some of the witnesses lay under the 
imputation of being persons who had no regard to justice or morality. 

Air. Savage having given the court an account of his meeting with Gre- 
gory and Merchant, and going with them to Robinson's coflTee-house, made 
some remarks on what had been sworn by the witnesses, and declared that 
his endeavouring to escape was only to avoid the inclemencies of a jail. 

Then the prisoners called their witnesses. 

Henry Huggins, Thomas Huggins, and Robert Fish, deposed, that they 
were present at the latter part of the quarrel, and saw Mr. Nuttal engaged 
with Mr. Gregory, and struggling with a sword. This only confirmed part 
of Nuttal's evidence. They added, that the cofli'ee-house was a house of 

Mary Stanley deposed, that she had seen the deceased in a quarrel before 
that in which he was killed ; that Mr. Nuttal and he were very well ac- 
quainted, and that she had seen Mr. Nuttal and Jane Leader in bed together. 

John Pearse deposed, that Jane Leader told him, that when the swords 
were drawn she went out of the room, and did not see the wound given : 
that she was a woman of ill reputation, and that the coffee-house had a bad 

John Eaton deposed, that he had known the deceased about two months, 
and had heard that his character was but indilTerent. 

Mr. Rainby deposed, that the morning after the accident, he went to the 
coffee-house to inquire for Mr. Merchant, and then heard Mr. Nuttal say, that 
if he had any of the prisoners in a convenient place he would cut their 
throats, provided he could be sure of escaping the law. 

Mr. Cheeseborough deposed to the same effect. 

3Ir. Nuttal. — Being moved with the barbarous treatment my friend had 
met with, I believe I might say, that if I had them in an open field, I would 
not have recourse to the law, but do them justice myself. 

Then Mr. Nuttal called several gentlemen, who deposed he was a man of 
reputation, civility, and good manners. 

Several persons of distinction appeared in behalf of the prisoners, and 
gave them tlie characters of good-natured, quiet, peaceable men, and by no 
means inclinable to be quarrelsome. 

And the prisoners then said, they hoped the good characters that had been 
given them, the suddenness of the unfortunate accident, and their having no 
premeditated malice, would entitle them to some favour. 

The court, having summed up the evidence, observed to the jury, that as 
the deceased and his company were in possession of the room, if the prison- 
ers were the aggressors by coming into that room, kicking down the table, 
and immediately thereupon drawing their swords without provocation, and 
the deceased retreated, was pursued, and killed in the manner as had been 
sworn by the witnesses, it was murder, not only in him who gave the wound, 
but in the others who aided and abetted him. That as to the characters of 
the prisoners, good character is of weight where the proof is doubtful, but 
flies up Vfhen put in the scale against plain and positive evidence; and as to 
the suddenness of the action, where there is a sudden quarrel, and a provo- 
cation is given by him who is killed, and where suddenly and mutually per- 
sons attack each other and fight, and one of them is killed in the heat of 
blood, it is manslaughter. But where one is the aggressor, pursues the in- 
sult, and kills the person attacked, without any provocation, though on a 
^udden, the law implies malice, and it is murder. 

The trial lasted eight hours. The jury found Richard Savage and James 
Gregory guilty of murder, and William lilerchant guilty of manslaughter. 


On Monday, December Uth, being the last day of the sessions, Richard 
Savage and James Gregory, with four others capitally convicted, were 
brought again to the bar to receive sentence of death. And being severally 
asked (as is usual on such occasions) what they had to say why judgment 
should not be passed upon them, Mr. Savage addressed himself to the court 
in the following terms : — 

It is now, my lord, too late to offer any thing by way of defence or vin- 
dication ; nor can we expect aught from your lordships, in this court, but 
the sentence which the law requires you as judges to pronounce against men 
in our calamitous condition. But we are also persuaded, that as mere men, 
and out of the seat of rigorous justice, you are susceptive of the tender pas- 
sions, and too humane not to commiserate the unhappy situation of those 
whom the law sometimes, perhaps, exacts from you to pronounce upon. No 
doubt you distinguish between offences which arise out of premeditation and 
a disposition habitual to vice and immorality, and transgressions which are 
the unhappy and unforeseen effects of a casual absence of reason and sudden 
impulse of passion : we therefore hope you will contribute all you can to an 
extension of that mercy which the gentlemen of the jury have been pleased 
to show Mr. Merchant, who (allowing facts as sworn against us by the evi- 
dence) has led us into this calamity. I hope this will not be construed as if 
we meant to reflect upon that gentleman, or remove any thing from us upon 
him, or, that we repine the more at our fate, because he has no participation 
of it ; no, my lord ! for my part, I declare, nothing could more soften my 
grief than to be without any companion in so great a misfortune. 
Mr. Merchant was burnt in the hand. 

At the end of the next sessions, held the 20th of January, Richard Savage 
and James Gregory were admitted to bail, in order to their pleading the 
king's pardon. And, on the last day of the following sessions, being the 
5th of March, 1727-8, they accordingly pleaded his majesty's pardon, and 
their bail were discharged. 

But to come to the dismal cause of his present condition. Having for 
some time had a lodging at Richmond for the benefit of the air, and the con- 
veniences of his study, he came to town on Monday the 20th of November 
last, in order to pay off another he had in Queen-street, Westminster, tliink- 
ing the expense too great to keep them both ; and falling into company with 
Mr. Merchant and Mr. Gregory, they all went together to a coffee-house, 
near his old lodging, where they drank till pretty late in the evening. Mr. 
Savage would willingly have got a bed at the coffee-house for that night, 
but there not being a conveniency for himself and company both, they went 
away from thence with a resolution to waste time as well as they could till 
morning, when they proposed to go together to Richmond. In their walks, 
seeing a light in Robinson's coffee-house, they thought that a place proper to 
entertain them, though Mr. Savage protested he was entirely ignorant of the 
character of the house, and had never been there before. What was the con- 
sequence of their going in there, we have already seen. 


The courts-martial on Keppel and Palliser are so intimately connected 
with the history of the country, that they merit a place in this collection. 

In the midst of the struggle with the colonies, France and Spain coalesced 
with them, and in July, 1778, the hopes of the British government were 
fixed on the channel fleet, commanded by an experienced seamen, admiral 
Keppel. Unfortunately, Palliser, the admiral of the blue and rear division. 


was a lord of the admiralty, and in the presence of the enemy he chose to 
think for himself, instead of obeying orders. The consequence was, the 
escape of the French fleet, at a time when a decisive naval victory was re- 
quired by the circumstances of the country. 

Keppel was of the party of the opposition, and Palliser one of the minis- 
try. Hence the influence of the latter in bringincr the former to trial, and 
the joy of the nation on his acquittal. The facts, however, rendered it 
necessary to bring Palliser to a subsequent trial, but the feeling of the 
government was proved, by his being, soon afterwards, made governor of 
Greenwich hospital, the most lucrative naval appointment in the gift of the 

Keppel, in the mean time, was rejected from the representation of Windsor, 
by the admitted influence of the court; but when the whigs out-voted the 
ministers in 1781, he was raised to a peerage, and made tirst lord of the 
admiralty, but removed by the subsequent changes. 

On the 7th of January the signal was made for all the admirals and cap- 
tains of his majesty's fleet to come on board the Britannia in Portsmouth 

Then the judge-advocate read the order sent by the lords of the admiralty 
to sir Thomas Pye, admiral of the while, to hold the court-martial, dated 
the 31st of December, 1778, signed Sandwich, T. Buller, Lisburne ; and for 
adjourning to the governor of Portsmouth's house. 

Tlie following members were then sworn, agreeably to act of parliament. 

President, sir Thomas Pye, admiral of the white, Matthew Buckle, Esq. 
vice-admiral of the red, John Montagu, Esq., vice-admiral of the red. Mar- 
riot Arbuthnot, Esq., rear-admiral of the white, Robert Roddam, Esq., rear- 
admiral of the white, captains M. Milbank, Francis Samuel Drake, Taylor 
Penny, John Mourtray, William Bennet, Adam Duncan, Philip Boteler, and 
James Cranston. 

The court was then adjourned to the house of the governor of Portsmouth, 
when the president desired the judge-advocate to read the charge. 

'i Charge of Misconduct arid Neglect of Duty against the Honourable .fldiniral 
Keppel^ un the 27th and 2Sth of July, 1778, in divers instances undermen- 

I. That on the morning of the 27th of July, 1778. having a fleet of thirty 
ships of the line under his command, and being then in tiie presence of a 
French fleet of the like number of ships of the line, the said admiral did not 
make the necessary preparations for fight, did not put his fleet into a line of 
battle, or into any order pro})er either for receiving or attacking an enemy of 
such force; but, on the contrary, although his fleet was already dispersed 
and in disorder, he, by making the signal for several ships of the vice-admi- 
ral of the blue's division to chase to windward, he increased the disorder of 
that part of his fleet, and the ships were, in consequence, more scattered than 
they had been before; and whilst in this disorder, he advanced to the enemy, 
and made the signal for battle. 

That the above conduct was the more unaccountable, as the enemy's fleet 
was not then in disorder, nor beaten, nor flying, but formed in a regular line 
of battle, on that tack which approached the British fleet (all their motions 
plainly indicating a sign to give battle), and they edged down and attacked 
it whilst in disorder. By this unoflicer-like conduct a general engagement was 
not brought on, but the other flag-officers and captains were left to engage 
without order or regularity, from whence great confusion ensued ; some of 
his ships were prevented getting into action at all, others were not near 
enough to the enemy, and some, from the confusion, fired into others of the 
king's ships, and did them considerable damage; and the vice-admiral of the 


blue was left alone to engage singly and unsupported. In these in- 
stances the said admiral Keppel negligently performed the duty imposed on 

II. That after the van and centre divisions of the British fleet passed the 
rear of the enemy, the admiral did not immediately tack and double upon the 
enemy with those two divisions, and continue the battle ; nor did he collect 
them together at that time, and keep so near the enemy as to be in readiness 
to renew the battle as soon as it might be proper ; but, on the contrary, he 
stood away beyond the enemy to a great distance, before he wore to stand 
towards them again ; leaving the vice-admiral of the blue engaged with the 
enemy, and exposed to be cut off. 

III. That after the vice-admiral of the blue had passed the last of the 
enemy's ships, and immediately wore and laid his own ship's head towards 
the enemy again, being then in their wake, and at a little distance only, and 
expecting the admiral to advance with all the ships to renew the fight, the 
admiral did not advance for that purpose, but shortened sail, hauled down 
the signal for battle ; nor did he at that time, or at any other time, whilst 
standing towards the enemy, call the ships together, in order to renew the 
attack, as he might have done; particularly the vice-admiral of the red, and 
his division, which had received the least damage, had been the longest out 
of action, were ready and fit to renew it, were then to windward, and could 
have bore down and fetched any part of the French fleet, if the signal for 
battle had not been hauled down ; or if the said admiral Keppel had availed 
himself of the signal appointed by the thirty-first article of the fighting in- 
structions, by which he might have ordered those to lead who are to lead 
with the starboards tacks on board by a wind ; which signal was applicable 
to the occasion for renewing the engagement with advantage after the French 
fleet had been beaten, their line broken, and in disorder. In these instances 
he did not do the utmost in his power to take, sink, burn, or destroy the 
the French fleet that had attacked the British fleet. 

IV. That instead of advancing to renew the engagement, as in the preced- 
ing articles is alleged, and as he might and ought to have done, the admiral 
wore and made sail directly from the enemy : and thus he led the whole 
British fleet away from them, which gave them the opportunity to rally un- 
molested, and to form again into a line of battle, and to stand after the 
British fleet; this was disgraceful to the British flag, for it had the appear- 
ance of a flight, and gave the French adiuiral a pretence to claim the victory, 
and to publish to the world that the British fleet ran away, and that he pur- 
sued it with the fleet of France, and offered it battle. 

V. That on the morning of the 28th of July, 1778, when it was perceived 
that only three of the French fleet remained near the British, in the situation 
the whole had been in the night before, and that the rest were to leeward, 
at a greater distance, not in a line of battle, but in a heap, the admiral did 
not cause the fleet to pursue the flying enemy, nor even to chase the three 
ships that fled after the rest ; but, on the contrary, he led the British fleet 
another way, directly from the enemy. 

By these instances of misconduct and neglect, a glorious opportunity was 
lost of doing a most essential service to the state, and the honour of the 
British navy was tarnished. 

Captain Marshall, of the Arethusa frigate, sworn and examined by sir 
Hugh Palliser. 

His evidence tended to prove, that at six in the morning of July 27, the 
British fleet were much dispersed ; that a signal was made for chasing, 
which scattered the ships still more ; that the French fleet were in a line of 
battle about nine o'clock in the morning before the engagement began ; that 
admiral Keppel made no signal for forming into a line, but advanced toward 
the enemy without any such disposition ; that from this circumstance it was 


impossible to engage ship to ship ; and that in this situation admiral Keppel 
made the signal lor battle. 

Q. The morning after the engagement, that is, on the 28th of July, were 
not three of the enemy's ships in sight ] — I observed three sail. 

Q. Were they line-of-battle ships or frigates 1 — I cannot say. 

Q, Was there any signal made by the admiral to chase them ? — I think 

Admiral Montague. On the day you first saw the French fleet, to the day 
you lost sight of them, do you, from your observation or knowledge know 
of any act of the commander-in-chief, admiral Keppel, behaving or conducting 
himself unbecoming a flag officer'? — No, as God's my judge. 

Monday, January 11th. 

Sir William Burnaby then informed the court, that when he first perceived 
the French fleet, the afternoon of the 23d, they were to eastward of our fleet, 
nearly a-head, or rather leeward, standing towards us, and appearing to be 
in great disorder ; that, the Milford having received orders from the admiral 
to reconnoitre the enemy, he made towards them. That at half-past four, he 
tacked and stood towards the Victory, the French fleet nearly then beginning 
to form a line a-head, seeming to direct their course to the leeward of our 
fleet, and very little from the wind. About half-past eight o'clock, the 
British admiral made signal for the fleet to bring to, and, to the best of my 
recollection, it continued in that situation all night. 

Upon further interrogations it appeared that the French fleet were all that 
day forming in a line of battle : that on the 25th and 26th the weather was 
squally, with fresh gales, which occasioned such a north-west swell as is 
usual with such winds; that they kept the weather-gage of us all the time, 
generally observing their line of battle, and rather gained upon our fleet ; some- 
times carrying a pressing sail, at other times under an easy sail, for the 
better perfecting their line of battle ; and that during all that time, had they 
been ever so much disposed to attack our fleet, they could not have done it 
without disadvantage, as they could not, without risk, fight their lee lower 
deck guns, whilst we could fight our weather lower deck guns. 

He was then examined as to the situation of the British fleet on the morn- 
ing of the 27th ; when he said they